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Does anyone provide users with a documentation feedback form? How effective
is it and what kind of questions are included in the form?
The primary documentation group within Texas Instruments has been using an automated feedback form inserted into the footer of XML-based documents over the past 18 months or so. We've had some interesting experiences, but it has been a mostly positive tool.
The form is available at: http://www.go-dsp.com/forms/techdoc/doc_feedback.htm. (When a customer selects the active link in a document, the literature number and part number fields are pre-filled with the respective information from the active document so the reader doesn't need to go hunting for it.)
The primary purpose of the form is to give readers a chance to point out both technical and non-technical documentation errors (typos, incorrect equations, improper units - mxing up "milliamps" with "microamps," and so forth). While the form has generated a great deal of email since it has been implemented, my estimate is that at least 1/3 (probably more) of the messages have been either requests for specific applications support or additional information on using a given device.
How effective is it? If "effective" is defined as, "do you get what you are asking for?" then I believe the form serves its purpose well. We have certainly had our share of finding mistakes that slipped past everyone, including me.
The downside of this particular format is that there is not a way to filter out the applications support requests. So there is a good deal more admin work to make the process function smoothly than we first anticipated.
Technical Information Systems
Texas Instruments - Tucson
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