Brief Procedure Documentation Project

In this project, you select a small hardware component or software application, or a portion of one, for which to document two or three procedures (procedures on how to install, use, or troubleshoot the component or application) using FrameMaker or Flare. The goal of this project is to:

Notes: If you are taking the classroom version of this course, your instructor may present a computer hardware or software component and have everybody document it. Your instructor will act as technical lead for the product and supply all information about it.

Ideas for the Hardware Component or Software Application

The idea is to document 2 to 3 basic tasks associated with the hardware component or software application, rather than all tasks and associated information. The complete document you write need not be over 5 pages of standard printed pages.

Take a look at LView Pro, PaintShop Pro, GifIcon, or other such applications and find 3 to 4 tasks that are "basic" and interesting enough to warrant careful documentation. For example, Netscape has a Calendar component that is in need of decent documentation (although some of its existing documentation is not bad).

WinZip is a handy tool for compressing and consolidating files, unencoding files, and encrypting files. You could document some of WinZip's basic tasks (as well as how to get it and how to install it).

Go to the Internet and see if you can find shareware to download. For example, go to http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Software/ and browse the lists under Children, Shareware, Games, Freeware.

Go to http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Software/Shareware/ and browse through the shareware programs. Take a look at what is available at http://www.shareware.com/ — the Home & Personal area has a lot of good possibilities.

Try to find some useful little utility like an online calendar program, reminder application, online phone number/address book, biorhythms charter, fortune-cookie program, large-file-splitting program, or to-do list manager, Typically, because these are shareware items, the documentation is poor or nonexistent. Contact the shareware developer and see how you can work with that person to develop the documentation.

Find a hardware component, such as a mouse, keyboard, modem, joystick, printer, CD player, or speakers to document. Select just a few tasks to write about. If documentation already exists, don't look at at! Give it to someone who can provide you with the information it contains but not enable you to actually look at its design, format, or exact wording.

Note: Documenting games tasks is a possibility, but be careful. Doing so might not be the best challenge to your writing and designing skills and might not produce a good item for your portfolio.

Brief-Procedure Examples

Here are some examples of brief procedures. Content, organization, and format vary somewhat; write your brief procedure in the general spirit of what you see in these examples.

Project Requirements

Here are the basic requirements:

Make this project a FrameMaker file, and name it using your first name, an underscore, your last name, proc1 for the assignment number and draft, anding with .fm as the file extension. For example, if your name is Charlie Brown, name the first draft of this project charlie_brown_proc1a.fm; the first revision, charlie_brown_proc1b.fm, and so on.

Send this file as an e-mail attachment to your instructor. Expect to receive e-mail confirmation that your instructor has received your files. If not, contact your instructor.

Information and programs provided by davidm@austincc.edu