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User Documentation Written

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Title: User Documentation Written


1
User Documentation Written
  • Providing Support and
  • Gaining Feedback

2
Why do users need support?
  • Users need ongoing support as
  • Documentation does not fully cover all needs a
    user may have
  • Documentation may date (if not maintained)
  • A professional product image must be maintained
  • Developers need feedback to improve the product

3
Why is feedback essential?
  • Feedback from the user will
  • Identify the success and problems of the product
    and documentation
  • Help determine what needs to be modified or
    removed

4
Support
E
New Product
Feedback
Product Changes
The Quality Product Cycle.
5
How do you choose a support method?
  • The method of support will depend on
  • The size and culture of the company
  • Existing support practices
  • The nature of the product
  • Effective product life
  • How the documentation is implemented
  • Funds

6
What sort of support is available?
  • Available support methods include
  • Documentation and surveys
  • Hotlines or Helpdesk
  • Publications such as Newsletters
  • A web site with Email support

7
Hotlines or Helpdesk
  • Hotlines or Helpdesk can provide
  • A human contact through one phone number
  • Expert advice
  • Help with other elements in the users
    environment eg. Hardware
  • A log of calls that identify patterns of common
    or serious problems
  • Marketing and sales opportunities

8
Publications
  • Newsletters are suitable to
  • Provide How-to tips
  • Identify common problems and pitfalls
  • Identify changes and available training
  • Encourages written feedback from users via surveys

9
User Documentation Written
  • Maintaining the Documentation

10
What is Maintained in the Documentation?
  • Documentation is maintained to
  • Correct errors or omissions in writing
  • Support product changes
  • Support product problems

11
Why Maintain Documentation?
  • If documentation is not maintained then
  • Documentation will be out of date and therefore
    useless
  • Ongoing errors could perpetuate
  • Users will stop using the documentation
  • New employees will not have correct information
    and ineffective training

12
How are changes distributed?
  • A change to documentation can done through
  • Memos - for minor corrections
  • Page inserts and removals - for loose leaf
    documentation
  • Stickers
  • Supplements
  • Complete Revisions
  • Downloads - in PDF form

13
User Documentation Written
  • PDF Files

14
What are PDF files?
  • PDF means Portable Document Format
  • PDF normally offers a smaller file size because
    it retains only the minimum number of graphic
    elements and converts the rest to text

15
Why Use PDF files?
  • The free Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to view,
    navigate, and print PDF files across all major
    computing platforms (Windows 3.1, 95 NT, UNIX,
    and Mac).

16
Why Use PDF files?
  • PDF files can be viewed or printed in almost the
    exact format in which the original documents were
    created. All the formatting, images and content
    will remain constant.
  • The Adobe Acrobat Reader is available to all for
    free from Adobe.

17
How do you create a PDF file?
  • Software which can create a PDF file includes
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Pagemaker (version 6.5) - which includes
    Adobe Acrobat Distiller and Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Office 2000 ??
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