RE: shortsighted or realistic?

Subject: RE: shortsighted or realistic?
From: "David Hickey" <david -dot- hickey -at- cgi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 11:30:56 -0500


> > "Online help is a nice feature, but honestly not many
> > people use it.

I often wonder how people come to this conclusion in an objective
manner. When I hear someone say this to me, I usually reply "Just
because you don't use it, that doesn't mean that others won't."

I'd like to think that everytime the techsupport phone doesn't ring,
that's when someone found the answer in the online help/documentation
(and maybe a techwriter angel gets his wings). I've tried to say that to
programmers/techsupport, but for some reason, they see that as a
laughable concept (although the "Nobody uses the docs" rallying cry is
always completely believable).

To better gauge how often the online help is being used, maybe we should
insist a polling option embedded in the online help that sends an email
(or a ping) to the company everytime someone uses the online help.
Doesn't MS have a "Did you find this topic helpful" button in its help?

At least that way, we'd be in a better position to gauge the usefulness
of any product with more accurate data.
John David Hickey
Mtl_techwriter Moderator

Documentia Inc.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada eh?

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