When Basic Tutorials Go Defunct?

Documentation, tutorials, and user guides must evolve and be updated as technology and software move ahead, but when so many web-based applications use the same basic WYSIWYG, are basic tutorials even needed anymore?

This issue was brought up recently with our wiki’s update to the newest version of MediaWiki.  If you use wikipedia at all, you’ve probably been using the new version for quite some time now.  One of the greatest improvements for the end-user is the new toolbar.

MediaWiki 1.16 Toolbar
MediaWiki 1.16 Toolbar

It covers all your basic formatting needs including tables (which is not the easiest for new users to figure out).  The help section is really nice too (since MediaWiki is not a WYSIWYG) showing the user how something will display (of course there’s always the preview button).

After this update, I realized that users will unlikely need as much guidance in editing their wiki pages and the basic tutorials that I created don’t really seem to be needed anymore, or do they? I haven’t exactly polled my users on this issue or anything.  For the moment, I have kept it live and updated as it’s being used as a general help article as well.  Maybe some users need a bit more structure via a linear method of creating pages, but it would be interesting to know…

Published by

Cynthia

A librarian learning the ways of technology, accessibility, metadata, and people

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