RE:

Subject: RE:
From: Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>, 'Ryan Minaker' <ryan -dot- minaker -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 14:33:06 +0000

Our documentation is often forwarded to prospective customers who want to be reassured that 1) our products have the features that they are looking for, and to gauge how our software stacks up against the competition; and 2) to assess how easy it will be for users to learn/use our products; and 3) to get a sense of how good our training and support systems are.

And all software comes with detailed context-sensitive help files generated from the print documentation, and/or a pdf of the manuals.

Note that our products ARE geared to the public safety sector; so liability issues do come into play.

Overall, though, I'd agree that the infuriating lack of documentation or even marginally useful help systems is due mostly to cost; as Craig says, people don't worry about how they are going to learn a new app ... if they want it, they buy it.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Cardimon, Craig
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 9:16 AM
To: 'Ryan Minaker'; 'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'
Subject: RE:

People don't buy a product based on its documentation. They aren't going to refuse to buy something that isn't well documented, either. Documentation tends to get tossed into a drawer and forgotten. Documentation is considered a necessary evil that companies can reduce or eliminate altogether without much fuss.

Craig

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Ryan Minaker
Sent: lundi 16 janvier 2012 08:53
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject:

Hi everyone,

I'm researching to write an article, and I'm wondering if anyone can share any ideas on *why software and product documentation is getting smaller and less useable as time goes on*. One example that I use is with video games.
Back in the mid-late 90s (some even into the early 2000s) games still usually came with solid user guides. These days it seems as though they give you a quick-start guide and you're own on your for figuring everything else out yourself. For mel, this usually means sorting through user-genetated forums for hours... *ugh*

It seems like there's an epidemic out there and user-generated documentation seems to be getting more and more popular, but it's really not efficient (in my opinion). Even companies like Adobe, Microsoft have resorted to this... Last week I was searching for something in Captivate
5.0 help, but I was getting irrelevant user-generated hits for Captivate
5.5 and 4.0 etc. Let's just say it was a serious hassle, and something that impacts my life constantly.

Does anybody have any ideas why is documentation going away? Is is that budgets are being cut? Is it the lack of audience analysis... so just let the audience, who may no be able to write, write the documentation and post it to a forum? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ryan
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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

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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.
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References:
[no subject]: From: Ryan Minaker
RE:: From: Cardimon, Craig

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