Re: Boring documentation?

Subject: Re: Boring documentation?
From: Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 12:33:43 -0800

David Loveless wrote:

However, I am trying to say that we all could learn something from
books like the "For Dummies" series. At the very least, we could spend
the time to find out why so many people use those books. I don't know
about you, but I'd love to have the readership rate that they have.
Imagine, technical documents so well done that the masses actually buy
them and use them.

On another note, if our manuals are not being used or are seen as a
last resort, what is our value? I don't want to be option F when my
annual review comes around.

I think there's a big difference between a readership
rate and a service to the reader. As a user, I'd love for
end-user commercial products to be so well designed that
they were largely intuitive and documentation was only
needed as a reminder or for advanced tasks. However,
if I did get stuck or wanted to do something I didn't
do very often, I'd definitely want the documentation to
be there and easy to use.

For more complex software and reference material (and
for simpler products with confusing interfaces :-> ),
I think we provide a crucial service. But I still don't
think that I'd judge the usefulness or quality of a
document by how many people read it.

-- Janice

WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!.
Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?: From: Steven Brown
Boring documentation?: From: Geoff Hart
Re: Boring documentation?: From: David Loveless
Re: Boring documentation?: From: Janice Gelb
Re: Boring documentation?: From: David Loveless

Previous by Author: Re: Avoiding "Uninstallation"
Next by Author: Re: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?
Previous by Thread: Re: Boring documentation?
Next by Thread: RE: Boring documentation?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads