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Method to generate customised ad hoc user manual for a software application Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236432D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


The method disclosed allows to produce for a user ad hoc technical manual detailed for the detected knowledge level of the target user and optimized with actual values of the installed instance

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Method to generate customised ad hoc user manual for a software application

Software application user manuals are written by information development technical

writers and they include all the information and details needed to explain to any person how to install, use and manage a product. Normally the target of a software application user manual is a person who is totally beginner to that product. This is a correct approach, but often it leads to a manual that is too verbose for a person already skilled, even partially. This leads to an intrinsical difficulty to find a certain information if the manual contains too many things.

On the other hand, many parts of the manual need to refer to generic references that are given values only once user has installed the software application itself.

For instance, the installation dir is often referred as

, the user used to install is referred as

and so on. This can be not easy to be understood for a newbie user, because he/she cannot understand that that reference must be substituted by the actual used value.

The method described here addresses the 2 above issue by:
1) generating a user ad hoc manual where information detail level is decided based on testing of the target user knowledge about the topics explained in the manual itself. To do that, the user is asked to answer a quick survey covering all the topics of the manual; taking into account the provided responses, each topic will be provided, in the output manual, with a description detail level that matches the user retrieved knowledge about each topic
2) substituting the variables references with the actual used value retrieved from the installation process itself

Existing solutions to create user manuals include a data warehouse which contains items of information and a computer configured to create a manual template defined by a manual structure which includes logical portions, to insert in a logical portion of the structure of the manual template, at least one link to an item of information selected from the information of the data warehouse, and to control a peripheral unit for editing the manual template supplemented with links in order to generate a manual, independent of the data warehouse.

An ad hoc technical manual related to the customer knowledge is created as follows:
1) The manual can be seen as a set of

topics. Each t...