Value of Indexes in Short User Guides

Subject: Value of Indexes in Short User Guides
From: Eddie Hollon <eddiehollon -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 21:05:58 -0800 (PST)

Can those of you with experience producing short user guides (e.g., 50-60 page guides for mobile phones) share your opinions on the value of indexes in these documents? I am currently writing style guidelines and am very interested in what other TWs have to say. Many competitor's documents do not include indexes, but I am still in favor of providing the user with an index as a quick means of searching for topics. I would appreciate any and all opinions on the general debate (to index or not to index?) as well as more specific issues, such as levels of detail and whether a noun/noun phrase or topic/action/condition strategy is more useful to readers.

Many thanks in advance,

Eddie Hollon
Suwon, South Korea


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