Re: Repeating Steps Task

Subject: Re: Repeating Steps Task
From: "Chuck" <writer -at- best -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 14:15:00 -0700

Mason, Catheryn <CMason -at- INFINITEC-COM -dot- com> wrote in message
news:27049 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> A poster at Ace Hardware inquiries about documenting repeated steps
> -- "some of us are stating "Repeat steps 2 and 3 to/until...", while
> others are stating "In order to..., repeat steps 2 and 3". "
> When I use repeated steps, I specify the condition to be met first, then
> specify the steps to be repeated. For example, "If additional transport
> facilities are required, repeat steps 2 and 3." In other words, I supply
> reason or outcome first, followed by the action.

I would agree in part, except that it depends. It may not be conditional.
Perhaps repetition is required. For example, "Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 until
all cells are filled with information." In such a case, the procedure isn't
complete, or a user can't continue with the procedure and have it work
correctly, without the repetition. If that's the case, I'd explain just that
in a sub-paragraph after the repetition instruction: "If you don't fill all
the cells, the frabberjatz calculation will not be correct."

As a side note, "In order to..." is wordy. Use just "To..."

Chuck Martin

"[Programmers] cannot successfully be asked to design for
users because...inevitably, they will make judgments based
on the difficult of coding and not on the user's real needs."
- Alan Cooper
"About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design"

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