Chapter Overviews

Subject: Chapter Overviews
From: "Martinek, Carla" <CMartinek -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 15:44:11 -0500

All -

Do you feel that a user guide, in the "About This Book" (or equivalant) section, should contain a high-level overview comprised of a list of chapters and a one or two line description for each?

Does this list add value for the user, or is it simply a repeat of information easily available via the Table of Contents and Index?


Chapter 1: This chapter explains blah, blah, blah...
Chapter 2: This chapter provides examples of blah, blah, blah...
Introduction: This chapter explains...
Programming Your Product: This chapter provides examples of...

In reviewing some of last year's STC winning documents, I found three that DID NOT have this type of information, and two that DID, so the tendency in that particular sample was to not have a high-level overview of the chapters with descriptive narrative. I've looked at other user documentation my shelf and found about the same distribution.

I'm curious as to what others feel about this section.

Our documents are distributed in most cases via PDF with the intent that our end-users print them.

Carla Martinek, Translation Coordinator/Editor
Zebra Technologies Corporation
333 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL 60061
tel: 847.793.5616 fax: 847.821.1795
cmartinek -at- zebra -dot- com


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