Monday, July 04, 2016

How Not to Write User Documentation

One of my pet peeves is user documentation that is written backwards in time.  For example, I received this today:

"Enable and Set Automatic updates to "Automatically Download and Install them" in Tools >  Options section."

Although this is a trivial example, in my mind I have to push the instructions onto a "stack" and then pop them off as I go.  This would have been easier:
"Run XXX.  Select "Tools/Options".  Then set"Set Automatic updates" to "Automatically Download and Install".

If you are writing user instructions, please write them chronologically in order of what your tender user would do, not what you just did.

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