Re: Is there such a thing as TMI?

Subject: Re: Is there such a thing as TMI?
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 10:39:25 -0800 (PST)

--- Jane Carnall <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com> wrote:
> Is there such a thing as giving people too much information?

Yes. Absolutely. It is sometimes called Information Overload.

> I want to suggest a (slight) restructuring of our document set which I
> believe will have considerable impact.


You listed advantages and disadvantages to you, or the Doc. Team. What about
from the users perspectives? How will your added information make it easier for
them to do their jobs?

It seems to me in reading your full email that you have a very complex
thingamabob that has to be configured and used just so. I'll guess that you
must be having problems with users not getting things right, or you wouldn't be
wanting to change the documentation. I'll also guess that you can't change the
thingamabob so that it is harder for them to screw it up--either for monetary
reasons or product reasons--so you want to fix the problem in documentation.

If this thing is as complicated as you suggest (or as I infer), added layers of
documentation probably won't help. They're probably already overwhelmed and
unable to sift through the layers of information to get this thing up and
running. And they're probably anxious to get on with things. Attempting to make
them wade through more documentation may not be the answer.

A tip sheet that tells them how to get things rolling more quickly, as opposed
to one telling them what not to do, might meet their needs, but I'm not sure
that what you're proposing will do that.


Tom Murrell
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Personal Web Page -
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Is there such a thing as TMI?: From: Jane Carnall

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