RE: Training docs vs. user documentation? - users see a difference

Subject: RE: Training docs vs. user documentation? - users see a difference
From: SusanH -at- cardsetc -dot- com -dot- au
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:12:00 +1100

If you followed the Authorware thread, you would have noticed that the
training question was about getting to base competency quickly, not just
learning to use the product but ramping up as quickly as possible.

Users buy/take training to reach the level of base competency with less
effort and faster. If training fails to get people to base competency,
faster and with less pain, users complain!

Users accept that when they work with documentation/Help, it's all up to
them... they do the reading, they identify what is critical for them, they
take responsibility for interpreting the information correctly and they
take responsibility for determining how much is enough.

While I don't disagree with any of the training Vs user doco postings, for
me, the real difference between training docs and user documentation is
defined by user expectations. It is true that the response (= what we
design and produce) is different but it should be different because we are
addressing different user agendas.

Users who use documentation to learn to do (Jinny Reddish's 'reading to
learn to do' concept) KNOW that they will have to work harder which is why
they so often opt out before covering the complete set of information... as
soon as they think they have all the understanding they need, they are off
to try the most commonly preferred learning option = trial and error.

Susan Harkus

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