What is it?

This section will get you to create a simple user guide. It will also assess your on-screen help which is why it was so important to add it.
Note – If you have failed to complete the system you can still get full marks on this section as long as you base the user guide on the design!

What does it contain?

Note – This should be a standalone document!

What does each section contain?

Hardware and software requirements

You should have already produced this during analysis so it will be a copy and paste job! You will need to state –

Ensure you format it into its own section.

Installation guide

It is unlikely you will have made a install wizard for your software (if you have well done!). You need to explain how to install the software onto the target. This includes installing any pre-requisite software first. For example a Java program would need Java virtual machine installed which would need to either be downloaded or included on the install media.
You also must clearly state how the user will get the final product. Will it be on CD or memory stick?
You must say –

It may be worth making some simple BAT files (or script files) to do this to make the install guide simpler. They are easy to make. Something like

cp –r myProjectFolder ~/myProject

Would, on linux, copy a folder called “myProjectFolder” and place it in the users directory in a folder called “myProject”. Windows would be something like

Copy –r myProjectFolder c:/myProject

 Note – I do not know if the above windows command is correct. I do not use windows and I am too lazy to test it!  It is something like that!

Getting started / step by step guide

Note – Only do the MAIN features otherwise you will be here for a while!
For each of the main features –

You will have seen any piece of software or hardware will have a getting started guide. The best way to do this section is to have a look at one of those and emulate it.


Here you should describe how the system should be backed up and how often. If your system is automated then explain this. Otherwise say exactly what files need to be saved in order to back up the data. A step by step guide with screen shots would be helpful.

Troubleshooting guide

This should be in the form of a table as shown below –




Program will not start

  • Nothing appears when program launched
  • Error message stating “unknown command Java”
  • Install Java from the install media
  • Check that you have copied over all files / recopy them


Can not log in

  • Error message appears saying “invalid logon”


  • Have you got a username or password from your administrator?
  • Check your password is correct
  • Ensure caps lock is off
  • Request a password reset.

As you can see the problems are clearly stated with symptoms and solutions. You do not need to write loads in this section but you do need to be specific!
You should have at least 4-8 entries in this table. Errors can range from unable to add things to the database, problems loading the program or logging in or common validation error messages.

Mark boundary

8–10 marks

Candidates will provide detailed and accurate documentation. The documentation will be well presented, in a structured and coherent format. The documentation will cover all aspects of the system, with no omissions, including installation, typical use, troubleshooting, and backup. The on-screen help and supplementary documentation makes a complete guide to the solution and is well presented and easy to follow. Subject-specific terminology will be used accurately and appropriately. There will be few, if any, errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation.

4–7 marks

Candidates will provide clear documentation. The documentation will be well presented. There is clear on-screen support to enable the end user to use the system. The supporting documentation and on-screen help is well presented and covers most aspects of the system operation with only one or two omissions, eg troubleshooting or backup. Some subject-specific terminology will be used. There may be occasional errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation.

1–3 marks

Candidates will provide superficial documentation, with weak supplementary user documentation covering few aspects of the system. The information will be poorly expressed and limited technical terms will be used. Errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling may be intrusive.
















High mark boundary

Middle mark boundary

Low mark boundary

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