RE: Getting feedback

Subject: RE: Getting feedback
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 13:42:03 +0000

Craig,

I can't compare apples to apples, but I think a lot of it has to do with how your user consumes those PDF documents. If you suspect or you know that people are printing hard copies and using the PDFs on paper, then a feedback email like Alec suggests is a great idea for you to do and offers a portal for users to respond, but they have to work a lot more to use it.

If, however, your readers are consuming the PDFs online, then such an email option becomes a lot more useful to the reader. Make sure it's an active email link (not a static printed email address) and when the reader wants to send feedback, they can open their email client, address a message, and possibly fill out a subject line (depending on how you format the link) with a single click and tell you what they found or what question they have.

In our environment we have a couple of feedback loops that are based on our internal online knowledge base. Each article contains a feedback link within the article for users to send questions or corrections or other feedback. Also we have a battery of SMEs that we use to follow up on feedback via traditional email and verify if there's anything that may have changed or be inaccurate or requires editing.

Any good documentation for any living product or service has got to include the invitation for dialog with the end user. Of course, how much that invitation is accepted and acted upon by the end user depends on how many of them actually use the documentation, how useful they find it, and how passionate those users are about seeing things done "the right way" (whatever that means to them). And as with the example of the printed vs. online PDFs mentioned above, you'll also find that ease of use of that feedback mechanism makes a world of difference. The more steps a user has to take in order to be able to tell you what they think you should know, the less likely they are to take them.

Kenneth Nuckols
Compass Editor

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012 13:10:02 +0000
From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: 'Alec Chakenov' <alec -dot- chakenov -at- gmail -dot- com>
Cc: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Getting feedback
Message-ID:
<7AAC13DC756EEA4CB5360BDB593E4B890B1B6E55 -at- Delmar3 -dot- m-s-g -dot- com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Alec,

That sounds interesting. Do you do that with PDF, too, or only online? My deliverables are just PDF right now.

Craig

-----Original Message-----
From: Alec Chakenov [mailto:alec -dot- chakenov -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:03 AM
To: Cardimon, Craig
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Techno-fuddyduddy getting anxious

Craig, you can set up an e-mail address specifically for gathering feedback and then advertise that address in the documentation. In our online documentation in HTML, we have the link "Send feedback on documentation." It's really useful.
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