RE: Single Sourcing

Subject: RE: Single Sourcing
From: Melanie Shook <mshook -at- com2001 -dot- com>
To: "'Tim Altom'" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 16:36:16 -0600

Tim Altom wrote:
<Ah, yes...we do this all the time. Check out our website for some examples
and hints: www.simplywritten.com.>

Thanks Tim.

I guess to be more specific, I may have an instruction that says:

1. Open the Whatzigig page.
2. Select the Thingamagig option.
3. Click "OK." You will be returned to the Dealywhopper page.

In the printed matter, I've explained how to open the Whatzigig page (e.g.
Right-click on the Toolbar, Select Dealywhoppers>Whatzigig). Then there are
several options from the Whatzigig page, each of which is a different
Heading2, and a different topic in HTML Help. In print, it doesn't make
sense to repeat how to open the Whatzigig page 10 times. Or does it?

So my question is, in the online version, should I repeat the instructions
for opening the Whatzigig page in each topic? Should I include a link to
those instructions in each topic? Should I NOT assume the reader can't
figure this out? What is the BEST way when I'm single sourcing?

Some of this could be answered through usability testing, and I'm trying to
get approval for this, but we just added a QA department that only has one
person, and I'm the whole tech pubs department, so there's not a lot of
personnel to get this done right now - later on down the line when we've
hired everyone it will hopefully be better.

It seems to me from reading the Simply Written website that you are
advocating repeating the instruction each time, so that each modular topic
is complete in itself. Anyone else have an opinion?




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