This International Standard gives guidelines for the design and preparation of user documentation for application software. It describes how to establish what information users need, how to determine the way in which that information should be presented to the users, and how then to prepare the information and make it available.
For the purposes of this International Standard, application software includes the types listed below.
- Consumer software packages, that is, software products designed and sold to carry out identified tasks, where the software and its associated documentation are packaged for acquisition as a unit. - Software for office applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, databases and electronic mail. - Business software, for example, software for recording and monitoring business activities, such as stock control and order processing. - Specialist software for use by professionals, such as accounting systems, graphic design systems and engineering design systems.
These guidelines may also be helpful for developing documentation for the following, although it does not cover all the issues relating to them.
- Software engineering products for use by computer professionals. - Software for programmable electronic or mechanical systems. This International Standard is for use by people responsible for specifying, designing and preparing user documentation for application software and people who manage these activities, including. - Developers of tools for creating hard copy documentation. - Product designers. - Application developers. - Project managers. - Authors. - Programmers. - Translators. - Localisation staff.
It is intended for use in all types of organisations, whether or not a dedicated documentation department is present.
In all cases, it can be used as a basis for local standards and procedures. Readers are assumed to have experience or knowledge of software development or documentation development processes. This International Standard may also be useful to.
- Developers of tools for creating on-screen documentation. - People who are evaluating existing or proposed application software.