Evaluate different methods of providing user documentation.


Teaching Note:

Examples should include methods such as: help files, on-line support and printed manuals.

S/E The quality of user documentation can affect the rate of implementation of the new system.


Sample Question (former curriculum):

3. State three items of documentation that are usually included in a software package. [3 marks]

From Sample Paper 1- 2014:


JSR Notes:


Advantages of a help file: easily accessible (don't need the Internet)

Disadvantages of a help file: updated only when the application is updated.


Advantages of on-line support: everyone can view it, more accessible, no limit to information, updatable immediately, easy distribution - everyone can have it.

Disadvantages of on-line support: harder to find, have to have Internet access.


Advantages of printed manuals: put a lot of information in it, pictures, some people (older people) prefer hard-copy.

Disadvantages of printed manuals: preference of reading things digitally, waste of paper, distribution - someone has to bring it/ship it in the mail.


Other Methods for Support (Though these are not exactly user documentation)

Phone tech support - done well this is great, done poorly, it only leads to fustration

Chat - some is quite good. Response time, and quality of responses are both key factors to proper implementation.

Plus "Press all the buttons" is another technique that more computer savvy users will try, so it's good to know that that's another approach that some users may take.



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