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New User Guide

Computer Users Quick Reference

OK, I like this one a lot, so I have to talk about it a bit.

When we first started up the network in H&A's Boston office, I wrote a Network Quick Reference Guide for the staff, to tell them of their new capabilities and remind them how to use them. This document evolved greatly over the years into a more general document, describing many technological capabilities, not just the network.

But the other offices had nothing comparable. New users were pretty much just thrown in to sink or swim. If they had questions about what they could do, presumably they asked their coworkers. The result was that new users rarely knew about any but the most basic computer capabilities we had available, so they often ended up doing things the hard way, out of ignorance. Also, as users educated each other, incorrect information was perpetuated, so we had to correct the same misapprehensions over and over. We had all this elegant and time-saving technology available, and the staff weren't using it because they didn't know it existed.

As I have described elsewhere, our computer environment began in a very chaotic state indeed. We couldn't use our Boston new-user reference for new staff in other offices: their environment was nothing like ours. Once we got things more standardised, I set about making a global version of my Boston new-user reference.

Anyway, here it is.

The Help Desk gives this to all new hires, company-wide, to introduce them to the computing environment at H&A.

Copyright © 2002 Lisa Nelson. Last Modified: 9 March 2002 Back to Top