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RE: Perfect Bound and Three Ring Binders and PDFs, Oh My
Subject:RE: Perfect Bound and Three Ring Binders and PDFs, Oh My From:"Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Wed, 16 Mar 2005 15:23:45 -0600
For our user guides, we deliver PDFs on CDs and through our web site. The guides are also available through print-on-demand (which we're trying to do away with because the number ordered is small). We use black spiral binding, though GBC binding will do in a pinch because we can have that done in-house.
When I worked for Motorola, we surveyed the technicians who used our manuals (imagine that!) and asked them what they liked/disliked about the documentation. The consensus was that the technicians disliked perfect binding because the books didn't lie flat when they were being used to service a piece of equipment. The technicians would purposely break the bindings of the books to overcome this, which left pages free to fall out and get lost. They also disliked large, heavy binders because they were too bulky to carry around easily, and they never bothered replacing outdated pages with updated ones.
Our compromise with our 1000+ page document set was to provide several smaller binders that were each filled with a number of spiral-bound "booklets." Each booklet contained the information and instructions relevant to a particular topic and would range from about 30 to 150 pages long. Those would lie flat, and the technician could take along whichever ones were needed at a particular site. As I understand, they went over well.
Donna L. Jones
Technical Writer II
Zebra Technologies Corp.
Vernon Hills, IL
djones -at- zebra -dot- com
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