Re: "If the docs are too good..."

Subject: Re: "If the docs are too good..."
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: Techwr-L post <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2004 14:11:09 -0800

Lyn Worthen wrote:

Product documentation is designed as a reference guide, and is most useful for answering those questions that occasionally arise, but is seldom practical as a method of learning to actually -use- the product.

"Documentation" is a big term that includes reference guides, user's guides, tutorials, all kinds of things. I think the only generalization you can make is that *reference guides* are designed to be used as reference guides.

Lippincott, Rick wrote:
> It would seem to me that docs show -how- to use a system, but training
> shows -why- you would use it.

Oh, lots of documentation--printed and online--includes sections that address the "why" questions.

> In training, I'd expect to be told an overview of the system features
> and be given practice examples to explain how the system works.

This seems to contradict what you wrote above: Does training "show you -why- you would use it" or "explain how the system works"?

I think the answer is that training is designed to be presented by a trainer who is there to answer questions, whereas documents (boradly speaking) have to stand on their own.



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RE: "If the docs are too good...": From: Lyn Worthen

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