Referring to on-line help from printed manuals

Subject: Referring to on-line help from printed manuals
From: hedley_finger -at- myob -dot- com -dot- au
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 10:53:57 +1000

All:

In the rush to get rid of the manual, many of us are contemplating how to
SHRINK the manual.

YOUR EXPERIENCE OF COMPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTATION

Has anybody experienced manual/help combinations where, to get the full
picture, you had to refer from the manual to the help?

What kinds of material were kept in the manual: procedures, reference
(descriptions, explanations, definitions, window and dialogue fields and
controls descriptions, classified data such as look-up tables of values)?

What kinds of material were kept in the on-line help: procedures,
reference (descriptions, explanations, definitions, window and dialogue
fields and controls descriptions, classified data such as look-up tables of
values)?

What degree of overlap or duplication was there, where particular
information types appeared in both media? What kinds of information were
overlapped?

If you were to divide user documentation between a manual and on-line help,
where would you make the cut?

As a user of this kind of complementary documentation, what was your
reaction? Did you like or dislike this approach? What strengths and
weaknesses did it have?

WHAT DOCUMENTATION DELIVERY DO YOU PREFER

Personally, I prefer a book. I can stick bookmarks in it, keep my fingers
in several places at once, write notes on it, add entries to the index in
ink, etc. It works without electricity and doesn't cover up the
application I am trying to use.

In my experience, Microsoft Office help is excellent and you don't really
need a manual -- which is fortunate. FrameMaker? Bloody useless unless
you only want to find out how to do beginner things. Lotus Notes? Over
comprehensive and maddeningly frustrating; very poor search and navigation.
They can't seem to use terms I am familiar with from other apps so it's a
venture into the unknown.

Your preferences (bigger is preferred, smaller is non-preferred):

Print only (no help) 1 2 3 4 5

Help only (no print) 1 2 3 4 5

Print, help same contnt 1 2 3 4 5

Complementary as above 1 2 3 4 5


Regards,
Hedley

--
Hedley Finger
Technical Communications/Technical communicator and FrameMaker mentor
MYOB Australia
P.O. box 371 Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia
<mailto:hedley_finger -at- myob -dot- com -dot- au>
Tel. +61 3 9894 0945
Mob. +61 412 461 558


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY.
http://www.weisner.com/training/dreamweaver_help.htm or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by SOLUTIONS, Conferences and Seminars for Communicators
Publications Management Clinic, TECH*COMM 2001 Conference, and more
http://www.SolutionsEvents.com or 800-448-4230

---
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: RE: Canadian Ballots (was RE: Florida ballot)
Next by Author: Floating footnotes, tables, anchored frames on double-spreads [was "Re: footnote misconceptions"]
Previous by Thread: Re: Character Map vs. Framemaker HELP!!
Next by Thread: Re: Referring to on-line help from printed manuals


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

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads