Artifacts > Deployment Artifact Set > End-User Support Material... > End-User Support Material
The purpose is to teach and guide the user how to use the product.
The initial planning of End-User Support Materials begins in the Elaboration Phase, as Requirements and Use Cases evolve and the functionality of the system is defined. End-User Support Materials are refined in the Construction Phase, in parallel with the development of the system itself.
The test team or the Technical Writer is responsible for creating and updating the material.
End-user support material is typically required of any system that has a user interface; systems that are principally embedded and have little or no user interface may omit this artifact.
The end-user documentation gives instructions for using the software. Provide documentation for all types of users.
Use use cases as a basis for your user's guide.
The user manual can be written by technical writers, with input from developers, or it can be written by the test team, whose members are likely to understand the user's perspective.
A reason for allocating the user manual to the test team is that it can be generated in parallel with development and evolved early as a tangible and relevant perspective of evaluation criteria. Errors and poor solutions in the user interface and use-case model can be spotted and corrected during the early iterations of the project, when changes are cheaper.
By writing the user manual, the testers will get to know the system well before they start any full-scale testing. Furthermore, it provides a necessary basis for test plans and test cases, and for construction of automated test suites.
How early in the development cycle to begin producing the user manual depends
on the type of system. Systems with complex interfaces or with a lot of user
interaction will require early versions of the user manual and also early
prototypes of the interface. Embedded systems with little human interface will
probably not require an early start on user documentation.
Rational Unified Process