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Its almost impossible to comment on what you might do differently, without having some idea/a sample of what you ARE doing.
I mean, if you're explaining a process that takes 15 minutes to do, but your doc is 50 pages long, then, yes, there's probably a problem...
Maybe you're using too many screenshots, and those shots show the whole UI, rather than just showing the relevant action? Are you repeating information again and again? Are you giving more information than the user really needs (i.e. explaining things that the user will see for themselves on-screen, such as the results of actions?) Are you writing succinctly in plain English, or are your sentences overly wordy and complicated -- more like academic writing?
My advice would be to ask a pro technical writer and/or hire a technical editor to review and comment on your work.
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 Debbi Crum
Sent: October-02-14 1:19 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: keeping the page count down?
I just had someone complain "why is the stuff you write always so long?". He's the only person who has said this. I don't think it's what I write (I'm not that verbose), and I don't go overboard with screen captures.
I think it has more to do with the design of the document itself. This is a PDF document that explains how to set up cross-references in a third-party application, so that our application can query it for data. It also briefly describes how to use those query results. The document is meant for office workers not developers or IT personnel. The process isn't complex. There's just a lot of jumping around between our application and the other application and different screens in each.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to make a document more compact, so I can get the same amount of information in a smaller "package"? Or can you give me examples of ones that you think are well done?
Thanks in advance!
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