TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: what doc formats do READERs want ? From:Richard L Hamilton <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net> To:TechWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Mon, 12 Dec 2011 20:45:22 -0800
Given the rapid changes in the industry, I suspect this is one where any academic study more than a few years old is going to be out of date. That said, I did an informal survey a couple of years ago where among some other questions I asked people what formats they delivered information in and what formats they preferred to read.
While not in the least scientific, the results were that most people were delivering information in electronic form (primarily web), but strongly preferred print (on paper:-) for reading. This is supported by there being a reasonable business in providing print versions of content that is freely available online (one of our best sellers falls into that category).
XML for Technical Communicators http://xmlpress.net
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net
On Dec 12, 2011, at 6:43 PM, Monique Semp wrote:
> Hello, writers,
> I’ve certainly been following the trends for authoring docs – Wikis, DITA, single-sourcing, all kinds of tools, etc. – but I’ve been asked a very good question: what are the trends from the audience’s (reader’s) perspective?
> That is, we can generally state with confidence that users don’t want to read giant PDF docs, but... what do they like more? Do they like HTML pages (whether in a wiki or just as HTML output or HTML help)? Do they like more traditional Help systems? Will they want to dispense with reading and just watch videos?
> I can find all sorts of info about the advantages and disadvantages of all sorts of possible doc types, but I’m not sure where to go to find out what the users will be looking for now, next year, and in 5 years...
> Where would you recommend I look for actual metrics? Or certainly feel free to share anecdotes!
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
> Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
> Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net -dot-
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/dick%40rlhamilton.net
> To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
>http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days. http://www.doctohelp.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-