Re: online doc accessibility--where to put it

Subject: Re: online doc accessibility--where to put it
From: Scott Turner <sturner -at- airmail -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 09:16:13 -0500


Have any of you done any work or studies on how software users access online
docs (PDFs not online help)? What I mean is, when you click Start
Menu|Programs and then click the particular program group, typically (say,
Adobe or Microsoft) only the executables are available.

What about putting the docs there?

In our products, you can access the PDF from the Help menu. But, if the doc
resides in Start|Programs|<application> then you can open the PDF via a
shortcut without opening the software.

One angle on this is if you install a suite of 6 products, each with its own
PDF, you end up with 12 entries in the Start Menu location, instead of 6. Is
this a hindrance?

Are customers likely to find useful or not the placement of PDFs in such a
location as I describe?

At the company I used to work for, the PDFs of our manuals were installed with the software. The manuals were placed in a sub-directory of the product directory.

The customers complained that they should get the physical copies of the manuals.

Seems that not everyone has the latest and greatest hardware configuration, or 17-19 inch screens.

My, my, did the management make an error in judgement? Did the fail to hear our warnings?

Darn-tooting they did.

If you provide PDFs do keep them with the software. Most people lose things on their desktops if they aren't located with related items. Even I do!



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