Re: documentation going away

Subject: Re: documentation going away
From: Connie Giordano <connie -at- therightwords -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 11:56:57 -0500

I'm not talking about print documentation specifically. Any company that
doesn't have a product support strategy with multiple ways for users to get
assistance is shortchanging their customers. Telling me to go search a
forum, rather than having a sales person show me before I buy it is just
crappy user experience. When the model of phone I bought doesn't have a
findable user guide on the manufacturer's website, that's crappy user
experience. I have no doubt that some consumer goods companies do it
right, managing forums that are actually helpful, making documentation and
other assistance findable and relevant. But lots of them don't. And
pronouncing that you have great technical support because you have a user
community online don't make it so. The media have changed a lot, but the
problems are still the same. Most companies do not put enough thought or
resources into supporting their products after the sale (something that
should be done about the time the product team is validating requirements).
And lots of technical communicators are still stuck on user guides and FAQ
as their main way to produce user support.

By the way, lots of consumer products have print documentation--product
packaging, warning labels, compliance and warranty information, even the
useless quick start guide that came in the box with the phone. It doesn't
have to be a manual to be print documentation.

Connie




On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM, Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- riveraintech -dot- com
> wrote:

> There are still companies that use their excellent print documentation
> as a sales tool. But I'm pretty sure they're not selling consumer goods
> like phones.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Connie Giordano
> Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 11:02 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: documentation going away
>
> Agreed, which doesn't make it any less short-sighted than any of the
> other tactics companies often take to make the quarterly sales goals. If
> user experience really is the watchword for 2012, I suggest senior
> management is really a long way from understanding how it works and what
> it means to their product management strategy (including training sales
> people to explain the most basic features to someone who obviously is
> replacing older technology).
>
> I'd be curious to see what the customer satisfaction levels are for
> products that limit their support to a quick start guide and community
> forums.
>
> I have no interest in joining a community forum for my phone, it is not
> the center of my world, and I'd rather spend what little time I have for
> visiting forums on topics that are more important to me (to each his own
> I guess). I don't know how many other consumers feel this way, but I'm
> pretty certain I'm not the only one out there. And this goes for all
> sorts of products, not just phones. Companies putting the effort behind
> creating a good product experience understand this, do the audience
> analysis, and provide documentation in multiple ways. They just seem to
> be few and far between.
>
>
>
>
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> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with
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--
Connie P. Giordano
Principal Consultant
The Right Words of NC, LLC

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible" - Walt Disney
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
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http://www.doctohelp.com

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References:
Re: documentation going away: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: documentation going away: From: John Allred
Re: documentation going away: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: documentation going away: From: Connie Giordano
Re: documentation going away: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: documentation going away: From: Connie Giordano
RE: documentation going away: From: Dan Goldstein

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