Re: What do you assume as basic audience vocabulary?

Subject: Re: What do you assume as basic audience vocabulary?
From: Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 13:48:12 -0500

Kathy Frost wrote:

> Technical manuals seem notorious for forgetting this, but I try to remember
> that most people who use the index are new to the software. I use a lot of
> See references with anything I think the user might call something, ...

Yes. I once made a bunch of users very happy by including terms like DASD
(Direct Access Storage Device, what IBM mainframers called disk drives) in
an index for a microcomputer product.

Up to some very high limit, the more ways you provide to get to the data,
the better:

At a minimum:
table of contents
lots of cross-references

Often other lists or tables with pointers to doc sections:

common problems
major product components
error messages

One extra that is sometimes worth adding is a permuted index. This takes each
section title and turns it into an index entry under each word in it. For example,
"Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" gives three entries:

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

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