The Writing Computer User Manuals and System Documentation course teaches the skills of writing computer system documentation, users manuals, installation guides, and quick-reference guides. It teaches a task-oriented approach to developing user support material. All of the writing is done from the user's point of view, not the system's. The goals of computer-user-support materials are to make the user successful and satisfied with the system.
The online lessons contain clear explanations and many examples. You go at your own pace and submit assignments when you are ready. The instructor evaluates the activities and examinations, comments on skills learned and skills that still need polish, coaches you through learning the skills, and certifies your competence. You receive a graduation certificate for framing at the end of the course.
You will go through the course at your own pace, so you could complete it within a few weeks. However, you have up to four months to complete the course so you can fit the study time into your schedule. All lessons must be finished within the four-month period.
Course ContentLesson 1: Introduction to Writing User Support Materials
Lesson 2: Understanding Users
Lesson 3: Planning the Project
Lesson 4: Doing the Task Analysis
Lesson 5: Working with Subject-Matter Experts
Lesson 6: Writing Steps and Actions So Users Cannot Misunderstand
Lesson 7: Using Illustrations, Screens
Lesson 8: Writing Online Help and Tutorials
Lesson 9: Choosing a Reader-friendly Format
Lesson 10: Writing the Quick-Reference Guide
Lesson 11: Usability Testing
Lesson 12: Editing, Proofreading, and Style
Lesson 13: Publishing the Manuals