Artifacts > Deployment Artifact Set > End-User Support Material... > End-User Support Material


End-User Support Material
Materials that assist the end-user in learning, using, operating and maintaining the product.
Role: Technical Writer

Input to Activities: Output from Activities:

Purpose To top of page

The purpose is to teach and guide the user how to use the product.

Enclosed Documents and Artifacts To top of page

  • User Guides
  • Operational Guides
  • Maintenance Guides
  • Online demos
  • Online help system
  • Context-sensitive help

Timing To top of page

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.

Responsibility To top of page

The test team or the Technical Writer is responsible for creating and updating the material.

Tailoring To top of page

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.

Additional Information To top of page

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.

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