Writing Effective
                          Instructions



Saturday, September 25, 2010
Challenges




Saturday, September 25, 2010
What do we always
                           do first?



Saturday, September 25, 2010
Audience Analysis




Saturday, September 25, 2010
Do a task analysis.




Saturday, September 25, 2010
What do they need to know?

 What do they want to know?



Saturday, September 25, 2010
Instruct at the correct level

                (Basic overview or detailed instruction?)




Saturday, September 25, 2010
How to access your blog interface:
                Novice User
                • with your computer turned on, open the
  ...
Same for Experienced User:

                • Open browser
                • Enter URL for control panel
                •...
Use very specific action verbs.




Saturday, September 25, 2010
Be sure you say what
                         you mean.
                • Place the thingie?
                • Slide it in...
Maintain Parallel Structure




Saturday, September 25, 2010
Right:
           1. Click the left button.

           2. Slide the lever over until the bunny turns
           blue.

  ...
Right:
           1. Click the left button.

           2. Slide the lever over until the bunny
           turns blue.

  ...
Wrong:
           1. First, you click on the left button.

           2. After you do that, then you’ll want to
          ...
Don’t overload the audience


                • People can digest a limited amount of info
                • Consider audi...
Give just enough info to
        get them to the next step.



Saturday, September 25, 2010
Make it easy to follow.




Saturday, September 25, 2010
Superstructure

                • Introduction
                • Description of equipment
                • List of materi...
Use appropriate organization

                • Chronological order
                • Numbered list format
               ...
Use plenty of graphics.




Saturday, September 25, 2010
and pay attention to
                          their quality.


Saturday, September 25, 2010
Design attractive
                               pages / screens



Saturday, September 25, 2010
Don’t make an
                   instruction unit more
                   than one screen long



Saturday, September 25, ...
Test it.

   If it’s not usable, it’s no good.


Saturday, September 25, 2010
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Writing Effective Instructions

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Intro to Instructions for basic tech writing courses.

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Writing Effective Instructions

  1. 1. Writing Effective Instructions Saturday, September 25, 2010
  2. 2. Challenges Saturday, September 25, 2010
  3. 3. What do we always do first? Saturday, September 25, 2010
  4. 4. Audience Analysis Saturday, September 25, 2010
  5. 5. Do a task analysis. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  6. 6. What do they need to know? What do they want to know? Saturday, September 25, 2010
  7. 7. Instruct at the correct level (Basic overview or detailed instruction?) Saturday, September 25, 2010
  8. 8. How to access your blog interface: Novice User • with your computer turned on, open the Web browser. • locate browser button on desktop • double-click it • wait for browser to open • enter URL for your control page • press enter • etc etc. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  9. 9. Same for Experienced User: • Open browser • Enter URL for control panel • Click on “New Entry” Saturday, September 25, 2010
  10. 10. Use very specific action verbs. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  11. 11. Be sure you say what you mean. • Place the thingie? • Slide it into place? • Click it into place? Saturday, September 25, 2010
  12. 12. Maintain Parallel Structure Saturday, September 25, 2010
  13. 13. Right: 1. Click the left button. 2. Slide the lever over until the bunny turns blue. 3. Turn the ignition key. 4. Blast off. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  14. 14. Right: 1. Click the left button. 2. Slide the lever over until the bunny turns blue. 3. Turn the ignition key. 4. Blast off. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  15. 15. Wrong: 1. First, you click on the left button. 2. After you do that, then you’ll want to slide the lever all the way over. 3. When the lever is all the way over, the bunny will turn blue. After that, turn the ignition key. 4. Congratulations! Blast off! Saturday, September 25, 2010
  16. 16. Don’t overload the audience • People can digest a limited amount of info • Consider audience attention spans Saturday, September 25, 2010
  17. 17. Give just enough info to get them to the next step. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  18. 18. Make it easy to follow. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  19. 19. Superstructure • Introduction • Description of equipment • List of materials or equipment needed • Directions • Troubleshooting Saturday, September 25, 2010
  20. 20. Use appropriate organization • Chronological order • Numbered list format • Descriptions • Checklists • Question lists Saturday, September 25, 2010
  21. 21. Use plenty of graphics. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  22. 22. and pay attention to their quality. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  23. 23. Design attractive pages / screens Saturday, September 25, 2010
  24. 24. Don’t make an instruction unit more than one screen long Saturday, September 25, 2010
  25. 25. Test it. If it’s not usable, it’s no good. Saturday, September 25, 2010

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