The following was written by Marcel Dubois, Lead Technical Writer for Autodesk Revit Structure on the AEC User Experience Technical Publications team.
When we began planning for the 2010 release, one feature in particular was always at the top of our priority list; the new ribbon UI. We knew early on that this task would require a total rewrite of over 600 pages of the existing tutorials, and that the work would be delayed until after the UI design was stable. This presented us with additional challenges including a shorter window in which to update the documentation. We were faced with some tough decisions that revolved around the unknown variables of the ribbon design and trying to estimate its impact on our overall schedule. Based on the added time to learn the new UI, I estimated that it would take me at least two days to adapt each tutorial. After starting, I soon realized that my estimates were too high. Once I figured out the logic of the ribbon layout, I was able to convert each tutorial in less than three hours (instead of the original two day estimate.) This included validating each step and capturing new images in the drawing area and dialogs. The new tutorials were completed ahead of schedule and are based on a more realistic user workflows.
For those of you re-writing your own documentation to fit the new 2010 UI, does this match your experience? If not, what in particular about the new UI is making it difficult to update your documentation?