RE: In Search of a Class

Subject: RE: In Search of a Class
From: "Jason A. Czekalski" <topsidefarm -at- mva -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L digest <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 10:00:11 -0800

Cindy Hudson wrote:

<< My new boss, the Director of Development, wants us to add more
content to
user manuals. >>

My first question is : WHY? Are the manuals that weak that they need
more content, or is your boss just trying to add fluff to make the
manuals look better? I've been through this problem a few times. I have
also heard the complaint from other TW's I know.

Here is my take on the situation:

If the issue is weak manuals, then a class is probably not going to
help. What is needed is for the TW's to sit down with the programmers
and review what already exists.Then some decisions need to be made about
who the audience is and what their needs are (research?). On second
thought, a class on research might help.

The more likely reason is the addition of fluff. Too many managers who
handle TW's have no clue about what is important in the manual(s)
involved. These managers will look at a 100 page manual and say that
it's not enough. But try asking them what's missing. All you get is a
blank stare or the "That's your job to figure out" line. The fact that
the machine, application, etc. may actually be able to be properly
explained within that 100 pages just doesn't register with them. Here
again, there is no class that I'm aware of to solve this problem.

Jason





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