Re: documentation surveys

Subject: Re: documentation surveys
From: Scott Turner <sturner -at- mail -dot- airmail -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 10:24:09 -0600


I was wondering if anyone has ever included a survey with any user
documentation they've written? I would like to get some feedback from
readers about the usefulness of the documentation, such as what
information is missing, what information is useless / unclear, etc. Has
anybody ever done this? If so, do you generally receive feedback as a
result of the survey, or will ppl not go to the bother of filling such a
form out? I was thinking as an alternative, I could post the survey in
forums on a web portal our company runs, and offer points as an
incentive (we have monthly contests whereby participation gets you
points, which get you prizes). Perhaps this would generate more
feedback? Any thoughts would be appreciated on how to approach this, if
it is worth it, and what kind of questions to include in the survey.


We have included surveys in our documentation and had a 1 in 25000 response rate.

We found that since our training department used our manuals extensively in the training, we got 100% feedback from the students if the survey was included in the feedback forms that Training required the students to do before letting them go away. :-)

The quality of the feedback was assessed as 70% useful (that is 70% of the surveys contained useful information).

Scott Turner
CSI, Inc.
Engineering Services, Senior Technical Writer
scott_turner -at- csicontrols -dot- com

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