RE: user expecttations - web-based help

Subject: RE: user expecttations - web-based help
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2014 14:38:46 -0400

Hoo-boy! Regarding videos in technical documentation, as a user I get angry:

- when the video is several minutes and I have only rudimentary control (or none) to navigate to the parts that interest me
- when the video _content_ is brief, but the snazzy intro and boilerplate stuff take up as much time or more - ESPECIALLY - if the author/producer has disabled skipping past that bumpf
- when there's anything at all in the video that's trying to upsell me or cross-sell me, or otherwise looks like an ad,
- when there are quality issues with sound, lighting, other
- when I need some obscure codec or plug-in to view it, and my company won't let me (for security reasons)... and then I have to view it on my phone, and it won't let me zoom or crop while the content is running.


BUT.... what's a video?
Many people still think of a video as live-action sequences, recorded by camcorder or smartphone, etc.
But others think of a "video" as what used to be an animated slide deck (like slightly upscale PowerPoint presentations).

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Lauriston
Sent: July-07-14 2:00 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: user expecttations - web-based help

As a user, I get angry if the only documentation for something is a video.

On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 12:13 AM, Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com> wrote:
> Printable versions are not an option as we add more and more videos to our manuals.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: McLauchlan, Kevin [mailto:Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com]
> Sent: 02 July, 2014 19:59
> To: Keith Hood; Erika Yanovich
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: user expecttations - web-based help
>
> I agree with Keith... though, I suppose it depends on the product and market and audience.
>
> We switched away from PDFs to WebHelp, and still had lots of customers asking if they could have a printable version.
>
> So, we're back to single-sourcing both Web/HTML5(-ish) Help and PDFs, with a home page in the distributed doc-set that lets the customer view either way, or save/print the various PDFs.
>
> Many prefer the PDFs because they can print out and annotate, etc.
>
> Many prefer the HTML because it allows search across the whole doc set, while PDF docs are searchable just within each doc.
>
> Possibly, Flare has a way to make the PDF set searchable across docs? We haven't gotten around to that, yet. Our preference is to never do any post-processing that is not fully scriptable.
>
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.
>
> Learn more: http://bit.ly/NNcWqS
>
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/NNcWqS

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/NNcWqS

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
user expecttations - web-based help: From: Erika Yanovich
Re: user expecttations - web-based help: From: Keith Hood
RE: user expecttations - web-based help: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: user expecttations - web-based help: From: Erika Yanovich
Re: user expecttations - web-based help: From: Robert Lauriston

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