RE: Interesting Product Review

Subject: RE: Interesting Product Review
From: rebecca rachmany <rebecca -at- COMMERCEMIND -dot- com>
To: "'Berk/Devlin'" <armadill -at- earthlink -dot- net>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:19:30 +0200

>>What can we do, as Technical Writers, to encourage that our
>users read the
>>manuals we create? Is it just a helpless situation? Or is it really a
>>"nice test of the software" to "not have to Read The Manual"?

In one of the software programs I installed, at the end of the installation,
the message came up "Would you like to read important product information
now?" I just laughed and clicked "No". Maybe we writers think the
information is important, but to users the documentation is a tool, not
something they read for fun or because they have been warned that it's

Technical communicators have to just get over it. I write the most usable
manuals I can, and always include an extensive index, so that nobody has be
tortured by searching all over for the information they need. If the index
is good, I hope some people will use it again. I create context-sensitive
help, which has a greater chance of being read than the book. Other than
that, all I can advise is to look for very good graphic designers who make
sure the product name stands out on the binding, because that's the part of
the book the user sees the most.

Rebecca Rachmany
PO Box 920, Kfar Saba 44109
Mobile: 050-900600
rebecca -at- commercemind -dot- com

Previous by Author: RE: Microsoft Manual of Style
Next by Author: On-line vs. Printed docs: Discussion on Slashdot
Previous by Thread: Re: Interesting Product Review
Next by Thread: resume preparation books

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads