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Cheat Sheet - Practices

In this concluding article, take a look at a sample table ofcontents for a user manual, understand the importance of having yourwork reviewed by peers, and find out how to handle document versionmanagement.

  1. Writing A User Manual (part 2)
  2. Looking For Improvement
  3. Cheat Sheet
  4. Version Control
  5. Putting The Package Together
By: Deepa L, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 20
January 03, 2003

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A thorough review needs a lot of commitment and time. You will need to make it easier for your reviewers by including quick cheat sheets stating what they should be looking for. An example cheat sheet for the SMEs would be:
  1. A technical review is not an editorial review.
  2. Focus on the technical facts to verify that the technology works as documented.
  3. Verify the technical accuracy of all procedural steps included in the document.
  4. Verify the technical accuracy of all screen captures in the document.
User reviews are a tad trickier than the others are because of the lack of resources. First, you may not have access to the actual users to review your document. And second, they may not really be motivated at that point to take the time to review your document. The workaround is to use your marketing and QA departments, and perhaps the people from the customer's end who are involved in the project.

Once the reviews are in, you need to get down to implementing the changes suggested. One tip would be to start revision on a document only after all the review comments are in. Also, while we won't get into the art of accepting feedback, you have to be in control of the changes that you agree to make. While you can change the information quite a bit at the time of the first review, you should try and restrict your changes to corrections only after the second review; structural changes this late in the process will throw you off.

>>> More Practices Articles          >>> More By Deepa L, (c) Melonfire

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