Subject: Re:
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Ryan Minaker" <ryan -dot- minaker -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 07:16:23 -0800

Supply and demand. For the products you're talking about, it's because the customers don't stop buying when documentation is reduced, so the manufacturers keep on reducing it for as long as customers don't stop buying. The budget cutting generally follows rather than being the initial cause. Pretty much the same reason why the price of gasoline keeps going up even though demand has fallen and refineries are exporting their surplus output.

In other cases, it's because customers are increasingly expecting and demanding products and systems that are more user-friendly and don't require studying and following step-by-step instruction manuals to use. This doesn't really make documentation "go away," it just moves it under the hood. A good consumer example is an ATM. There's no customer documentation to speak of except the onscreen prompts in the UI, but the person who installs and services the unit gets a set of documents that rivals an encyclopedia for weight if it's printed.

You can probably see where this trend is headed if you want to continue to be employed as a technical writer.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ryan Minaker" <ryan -dot- minaker -at- gmail -dot- com>

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.


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[no subject]: From: Ryan Minaker

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