RE: Single sourcing and embedded assistance

Subject: RE: Single sourcing and embedded assistance
From: "Bill Swallow" <wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 23:54:16 -0400

::: Studies have shown that users don't read paper manuals or
::: online help, so
::: writers are now trying embedded assistance along with
::: context sensitive
::: help. I'm looking for opinions:

Studies have shown blah blah blah... If I had a dime for every worthless
tech writing-related study I've seen, well, I'd have a hell of a lot of
dimes. ;) What studies are you referring to? I've read some studies that
prove that without a doubt the world will end at the strike of midnight,
1/1/2000. *lol*

I don't know what studies you've read but people still do read manuals
and use online help.

::: Could embedded assistance completely replace paper manuals
::: and online help?

Maybe, maybe not. I doubt I'll see it in my lifetime, or my kids', or my
grandkids (if I have any). In fact, I'll bet there will be a new and
funkier means of user assistance being flaunted and supported with weak
studies before embedded user assistance has a chance to make it big.

"Completely" and "replace" are very strong words, especially when used
together. What you're basically asking is whether people will abandon
whole, organized, structured content for fragmented need-to-know-now
information. The embedded assistance may halp get tasks done, but
manuals and help will still be used to understand a process or concept.

::: If so, would single sourcing have any value?

Depends. If the only value you see in single-sourcing is repurposing
content from one medium to another, then no, single-sourcing wouldn't
have much value. If you see single-sourcing as a means of producing
multiple deliverables from a central repository of information, then
yes, single-sourcing will still have value despite what mediums are
available to publish in.

Information Design & Development Professional
tel/fax: 518.371.1867
wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com

FrameMaker-to-PDF TimeSavers Assistants let you enhance & automate navigation
in PDF doc sets (chapter tabs, next/prev chapter/pg, bookmarks, popup menus);
create interactive PDF forms, rollover popups; presentations:

Experience RoboHelp X3! This new RoboHelp release combines single sourcing,
print-quality documentation, conditional text and much more, into the most
monumental release of RoboHelp ever!

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 for more resources and info.

Single sourcing and embedded assistance: From: Joanne Vinton

Previous by Author: RE: Questions about the Technical Writing field
Next by Author: RE: Drafts -- some people not clear on the concept...
Previous by Thread: Re: Single sourcing and embedded assistance
Next by Thread: RE: Single sourcing and embedded assistance

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

Sponsored Ads