Re: PowerPoint Presentations for Doc/writer Impact?

Subject: Re: PowerPoint Presentations for Doc/writer Impact?
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: k k <turnleftatnowhere -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 11:58:20 -0500

k k wrote:

Getting a jump on Friday...

The effect of documentation on income can be exactly
quantified by a very simple experiment. Tell the
customers that when they buy your product you will
give them no documentation - no help system, no user
manual, no installation guide, no nothing. Try that
approach for one month and watch what happens to the
sales figures. After that, if the company is still in
business, you have exact figures down to the penny.
Think anyone will ever try it? :-)

People try it--and succeed--all the time.

Looking around my desk, I see the following products that came with no documentation:

Various pens and markers
Tape dispenser
File cabinets
Storage cabiner
Rolling cart
Suspended shelves with undershelf lights
Paper clip holder/paper clips
Push pins
Rubber bands
Note cube, memo pads, Post-Its
The keyboard I'm typing on
Mugs and cups
Plastic drinking tumbler
Box of business cards
Ring binders
Utility knife
File folders
Steel wool
Duct tape and three other kinds of specialty tape

Thinking about stuff I buy at the supermarket or discount store, there are hundreds of other items, from linens to furniture to kitchen gadgets to basic groceries to houseplanats that have nothing more than an identifying label with the minimum information required by law and custom.

Yet all these things are produced by companies that don't see the need for user documentation and have somehow managed to stay in business.

Of course your point is that it would be foolish to try to sell complex, feature-rich technological products with no documentation, and I completely agree. But we do need to remind ourselves from time to time that the world has lots of things in it that are not complex, feature-rich technological products.


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