RE: How does one write a user's guide without users?

Subject: RE: How does one write a user's guide without users?
From: "Murrell, Thomas" <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 08:33:16 -0500

It's not an uncommon situation for a product to undergo a change of
direction, particularly when there is a change in management. The good news
is that you're aware that they've changed the focus of the product, and
hence the audience for your documentation.

Whoever is doing marketing in your organization should have done something
defining the target market for the product. Get a copy of that market
analysis and study it. Then ask the Marketing types for any additional
information, and any answers to questions you have, that they can provide.
Right now, that may be the closest you'll be able to get to user/audience
involvement in your documentation.

Beyond all of that, Andrew Plato's advice isn't bad. You have a document.
It wouldn't surprise me if it's better than the product <g>. Go with what
you have while working to make it better. Remember the motto of Software
Development (it applies to documentation, too): "We'll fix it in the next
release."

Tom Murrell




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