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Part 1: Easy to use

Part 1: Easy to use

Ease of use is very broad. Some people equate the term with usability, which they consider as broad as quality itself. Here we limit ease of use to the primary characteristics that determine whether users can actually apply the information. We distinguish this ability from being able to find and understand the information.


Chapter 2 Task orientation


Write for the intended audience


Present information from the user's point of view


Indicate a practical reason for information


        Relate details to a task where appropriate


        Provide only a necessary amount of conceptual information in task topics


Focus on real tasks, not product functions


Use headings that reveal the tasks


Divide tasks into discrete subtasks


Provide clear, step-by-step instructions


        Make each step a clear action for users to take


        Group steps for usability


        Clearly identify optional steps


        Identify criteria at the beginning of conditional steps


In sum


Chapter 3 Accuracy


Write information only when you understand it, and then verify it


Keep up with technical changes


Maintain consistency of all information about a subject


        Reuse information when possible


        Avoid introducing inconsistencies and eliminate those that you find


Use tools that automate checking for accuracy


Check the accuracy of references to related information


In sum


Chapter 4 Completeness


Cover all topics that support users' tasks, and only those topics


Cover each topic in just as much detail as users need


        Include enough information


        Include only necessary information


Use patterns of information to ensure proper coverage


Repeat information only when users will benefit from it


In sum



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