Task Analysis

After you have done some work to determine who your users are, your next step is to determine the component steps of the procedure you are documenting.

  1. Brainstorm every possible piece of information that you may need to include in the documentation. Go through the procedure yourself, and catalog not only the procedure's steps, but also the information users will need to accomplish their task safely and successfully.
  2. Determine what should be left out and what should be included. When doing this, take into consideration your production limitations, your client's demands, and most importantly, your audience's needs (see your user analysis).
  3. Consolidate the sub-steps into larger procedure chunks, and plan an organizational strategy for the document.

Keep in mind that successful instructions go beyond just presenting the user with a list of steps needed to be able to use the device—they allow the user to use the device to get their task accomplished and to solve a problem.