Manuals on CD-ROM

Subject: Manuals on CD-ROM
From: Anatole Wilson <awilson -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1993 09:10:02 PST

Although I haven't professionally dealt with putting info on CD-ROM yet, I did
encounter some stories like this while interviewing. The manager of one very
large company (not the one that hired me) told me that last year they released
a CD-ROM containing the complete documentation for the computer system
they sold--some 20,000 pages worth of documentation. They, too, thought
that navigation tools were a secondary concern.

Well, while the customers were initially enthusiastic about the storage space
they saved, they soon found the CD-ROMS to practically worthless. If they
wanted to access the last section of one of the books, they had to scroll
through hundreds of pages of material they *didn't* want to see. Searching
for a specific topic was a time-consuming nightmare, since the indexes
were at the back of each "book," and the person looking for the information
did not necessarily know which "book" to look at.

Of course, the customers all requested copies of the hardcopy documentation.

You might want to pass that horro story on to your marketing dept.

Anatole Wilson "If I should say to a novice,
Sr. Assoc. Information Developer 'write from experience only,'
IBM, Santa Teresa Labs I should feel that this was
awilson -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com rather a tantalizing monition
if I were not careful to add,
'try to be one of the people
on whom nothing is lost.'"
all company disclaimers apply --Henry James

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