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Redevelop User Documentation

Project ID: 
Current stage: 

Description: Provide more streamlined user documentation using the most appropriate technology as outlined in project 36 - Review of User Documentation.

Deliverables: Accurate and up-to-date user documentation with good search facilities.

Delivered documentation:

  1. Discussion paper 1
  2. Comments on documentation

Customer: All users of Informatics services.

Case statement: Current user documentation is out of date and inaccurate. It's not all centrally located nor does it have adequate search facilities. User feedback shows that certain pages aren't being found and it needs a complete re-vamp.





Time: 20 days (up to 6th August 2010)


Proposal: see plan


  • 2 C(S)Os + possible student assistance with re-write/porting to new platform.
  • Knowledge of Zope/Plone.


    • Undertake a review of good practice in other sites.
    • Establish a small focus group which adequately represents our user community.
    • Prepare and circulate report from user meeting.
    • Prepare site map for discussion.
    • Appoint author.
    • Familiarisation with zope/plone - assess training requirements.
    • Build database and port current documentation (where appropriate).
    • Identify missing documentation and chase potential authors to provide such.
    • Include the provision of a service alert mechanism.
    • Produce documentation on resources available for research projects
    • Produce more "howto" documents - student survey could help identify what is missing
    • Investigate producing videos rather than producing talks
    • Add documentation promoting desktop virtualisation
    • Need a way to hold "secured access" files within @ed
  • Other: 

    Dependencies: project 106 - Final stages of commodity CMS work



    Proposed date Achieved date Name Description
    2010-03-11 2010-03-31 User meeting Hold the first user meeting to establish what users feel are the important features of user documentation.
    2010-03-01 2010-03-01 Websites Prepare a list of suitable websites that can be taken to the initial user meeting as an initial discussion point to help identify our requirements.
    2010-07-01 2010-07-31 test site Create partial test site for user documentation.
    2011-01-31 2010-08-31 training Familiarisation with Drupal. Basic familiarisation completed but on-going as we discover more.
    2011-03-30 2011-03-30 port port selection of existing relevant documentation to new platform for circulation for feedback.
    2011-03-31 new docs Identify new documentation and authors.
    2010-04-30 2010-04-30 site map Produce and circulate proposed site map.
    2010-03-31 2010-03-31 summary doc Prepare summary document from discussions with user group.
    2010-05-31 Author Appoint an author who will oversee document porting/writing.
    2010-12-31 Service alerts A means of alerting users to planned/unplanned service disruptions needs to be in place. Has now been added as a separate project.
    2010-06-01 2010-06-14 mock up Produce mock up for user meeting
    2010-10-27 2010-08-31 design Final decision on design/visual appearance of site.
    2011-04-22 User Feedback COs have been asked for feedback but little response. CSTR e-mailed and asked for feedback by 22nd April.
    2011-05-31 taxonomy Create vocabulary and terms lists. Tag existing documents and make tagging mandatory for new pages.
    2011-05-05 Collate feedbac Collate user feedback and discuss relevant points.
    2011-05-31 2011-04-11 surfing Supervised surfing sessions with 4 or 5 users. (1 completed)
    2012-04-30 2012-04-02 Maintenance Pla Maintained service requires plan for timely software upgrades, regular backups and checks on currency of documentation.