RE: any cons to single sourcing?

Subject: RE: any cons to single sourcing?
From: "Mike Starr" <writstar -at- wi -dot- net>
To: "Barb -dot- Hyde -at- tulsa -dot- cistech -dot- com" <Barb -dot- Hyde -at- tulsa -dot- cistech -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 06:15:47 -0600

Hello, Barb

I have to disagree.

My position is that both the help and the printed document should contain
the same information on the theory that most users will turn to their
preferred method of information delivery (print, PDF, help, etc.) and if
they don't find what they're looking for, their next step will be to pick
up the phone and call tech support.

If they don't find what they're looking for, then I haven't done a good
enough job of providing all the information they need. That's the problem
inherent in the documentation for so many products. The information just
ain't there!!! If it were, the users wouldn't have to call.

I get extremely frustrated when I look up a control in a dialog box and it
tells me no more than the label of the control. If it doesn't tell me how
changes to that control are going to affect what I'm doing and why I might
want to make those changes and what the limits of those changes are, then
the documentation provided is insufficient. That's not the fault of the
delivery mechanism. It's the fault of the writer for not providing complete


Mike Starr - WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Technical Illustrator
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Telephone (262) 694-0932 - Pager (414) 318-9509 - mailto:writstar -at- wi -dot- net

You said:
Nothing is more frustrating than this scenario: I am learning to use a new
tool and need information. I look through the Help and other online
information, but don't find what I need. Then I turn to the paper guide
only to find it contains exactly the same material as the Help. What is the
point? Rather than spend the money for paper that doesn't say anything new,
just go with the online and tell your customers that's what they get.

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