RE: Odd/Even formatting

Subject: RE: Odd/Even formatting
From: Syed Zaeem Hosain <Syed -dot- Hosain -at- aeris -dot- net>
To: Lin Laurie <linlaurie1 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, Sion Lane <sion -dot- lane -at- unit4 -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 20:00:54 +0000

A good point.

I can't say that we have done formal, or even informal, usability tests per se ...

However, my use of odd/even for lengthy documents was driven by observing our employees printing them out (double-sided, of course) and putting into three-ring binders for reference. For this, the odd/even formatting, with extra space on the inside margins was the right approach.

For one very length spec, I was asked to add extra space in the margins for hand-written notes, so used 1.5" margins and a bit extra line spacing too.

Z

-----Original Message-----
From: Lin Laurie <linlaurie1 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 12:54 PM
To: Syed Zaeem Hosain <Syed -dot- Hosain -at- aeris -dot- net>; Sion Lane <sion -dot- lane -at- unit4 -dot- com>; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Odd/Even formatting

Has anyone ever polled their readers to see what they want/expect? I see a lot of you talking about what you want/need/think you should deliver but I just wonder what users really want. I did a documentation usability test a few years ago and was surprised that my assumptions didn't match with my reader/user's actual needs and expectations. It was a real eye opener.

We just grabbed people out of the warehouse and gave them a list of tasks to perform and watched them try to use our documentation to get er done. Very cheap. We bought the volunteers lunch for their participation so it was low budget too and they were happy to do something different for an hour or so.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+linlaurie1=hotmail -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l-bounces+linlaurie1=hotmail -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> On Behalf Of Syed Zaeem Hosain
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 12:45 PM
To: Sion Lane <sion -dot- lane -at- unit4 -dot- com>; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Odd/Even formatting

It usually depends on the purpose of the document.

If I do _not_ expect the document to be printed (or rarely printed) out for use, then page numbers on the top right is typically what I do, but have done it odd/even too.

The length of the document is another variable - if it is long enough (_well_ more than 75 pages) then I think my readers expect to print the PDF as a reference, so wider spacing on the inside edge and odd/even page numbering is how I do it. Since the likely output is printing dual-sided, with hole punches on the inside (so need the extra space).

Of course, on my recent technical book (literally just printed - first signing today in a few hours, yay!), we provide printed books to our customers with a free PDF available for download if so desired.

For this book, we _definitely_ used odd/even page formatting for obvious reasons!

I should point out that one-time setup and using odd/even page number formatting is so darn easy (whether in FrameMaker, Word, InDesign, or my current LaTeX use), that it makes no real working difference once that setup is done!

Z

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+syed -dot- hosain=aeris -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l-bounces+syed -dot- hosain=aeris -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> On Behalf Of Sion Lane
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 7:25 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Odd/Even formatting

I'm just wondering if any of you have a good reason for keeping the traditional odd/even page formatting when your only deliverable is a pdf file. It doesn't facilitate online reading in any way, and even if people print out double sided it shouldn't matter, in my opinion.

We are working on a new page layout and I questioned the need for a different right and left page, my boss seemed uncertain so I would ideally like to go back with some resources/examples to back up my intuition.
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References:
Odd/Even formatting: From: Sion Lane
RE: Odd/Even formatting: From: Syed Zaeem Hosain
RE: Odd/Even formatting: From: Lin Laurie

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