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Technical and Business Writing. Lecture 2: By Saqib Subhan . Strategies that encourages Task Orientation (Cont). Encourage User Control of Information Feelings among software users, that they decide what the program does for them

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technical and business writing

Technical and Business Writing

Lecture 2:


Saqib Subhan

strategies that encourages task orientation cont
Strategies that encourages Task Orientation (Cont)
  • Encourage User Control of Information
    • Feelings among software users, that they decide what the program does for them
    • The manual should show the user that how they make key decisions, supply key information or determine key program output
    • E.g. specifying what a database program will search for and identifying which data the program will process
encourage user control of information cont
Encourage User Control of Information (Cont)
  • User need to feel in control of the program
  • Cross reference in manual and hyperlinks in online system can help to maintain the user sense of control over the document
  • This allow the users to go anywhere for the search of additional information
  • Chapter 3: Writing to Guide Procedures will discuss this strategy
orient pages semantically
Orient Pages Semantically
  • Arrange the elements of the page meaningfully according to the user’s job requirement needs
  • One of the best way to orient pages semantically employs visual and graphics to balance text in complementary way
  • This makes the user to understand and perform the job in better way
  • Chapter 11: Laying out Pages and Screens will describe this strategy
facilitate both routine and complex tasks
Facilitate both Routine and Complex Tasks
  • The manual has ability to represent both routine and complex task
  • Routine tasks
    • Repeated tasks that easily represents the conventional procedures
    • E.g. save file, open file, delete record etc
  • Complex tasks
    • These task required user knowledge to apply that comes from experience
    • E.g. using a spreadsheet software to calculate their salaries and identify their performance in annual reports
  • If the manual helps the user to perform complex task, it will be valued more by the user
  • This strategy will be utilized in chapter 5: Analyze your Users
design for users
Design for Users
  • The organization of manual comes from user needs instead of models and templates
  • The user driven manual should allow the users to:
    • Find what they need
    • Understand what they find
    • Use what the understand appropriately
  • Chapter 5: Analyzing your users and Chapter 8: Conducting Usability Tests will adopt this strategy
facilitate communication tasks
Facilitate Communication Tasks
  • User of software program required them to communicate about their work
  • These tasks are called communication task because they depend on the user’s workplace demand. E.g. print functions, report functions, disk output functions and data transfer functions etc supports communications tasks
  • The manual should facilitate the users to learn and apply the communication task
  • Chapter 12: Getting the Language right will uses this strategy
encourage user communities
Encourage User Communities
  • Users often need encouragement to rely on other users of the program, their user groups
  • Task oriented documentations encourages users to identify and get help from others
  • Other users of the program (not experts) can render valuable help because they understand the user’s job demand
  • Chapter 5: Analyze your users and Chapter 6: Planning an Writing your document will use this strategy
support cognitive processing
Support Cognitive Processing
  • People uses mental model called cognitive schema, that help them learn new information, process the information and apply the information that comes at them at alarmingly faster and faster rate
  • The task oriented manual uses principles of knowledge representation and analogy to convey software features and applications to workplace tasks
  • These techniques are applied by writing the references
principles of software documentations
Principles of Software Documentations
  • The more a manual can supports productive work, the greater the chance of acceptance and satisfaction by a user
  • Goals of software user and Manual or Help