Re: Guess what: we suck!

Subject: Re: Guess what: we suck!
From: "Julie Stickler" <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 12:07:36 -0400

Two thoughts to add to the discussion:

1 - At my last job the quality of the documenation was at the mercy of
the translation budget. Instead of letting us fully document the
product and then figure out how many languages we could afford to
translate into, our pointy-haired executive VP "let" us write as much
documentation as our translation budget could afford. It was totally
frustrating to be told that I could not include any content in the
User Guide that also appeared in the online Help. It created huge
usability issues, and lots of cross-references and redirects (as well
the occasional problem when things got cut and the cross-references
weren't updated).

2 - Way too many products think that features based documenation is
sufficient. Right now I'm evaluating two single source tools
(AuthorIT and Flare). I've got my list of requirements and I've
downloaded trial versions of each. After a couple of days, I'm pretty
sure that I'm going with Flare. Why? Because while AuthorIT has a
lot of documenation, it doesn't tell me *how* to use the software. I
found the topic about the Table of Contents Object, but I can't find
the topic on "Creating a Table of Contents" or anything about how to
configure it. Flare has task based documentation, so they're probably
going to get my business. (Who was it recently that posted about test
driving the documenation before they bought the product? ;-) ) At my
last job I spent my first six months rewriting the User Guide to be
task based. I just started a new job, and guess what I'm spending my
first six months doing here? You got it. Converting features based
documentation to task based documenataion.


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RE: Guess what: we suck!: From: Jessica Weissman
RE: Guess what: we suck!: From: Chris Borokowski

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