Re: Documentation not as important anymore?

Subject: Re: Documentation not as important anymore?
From: Jim Walsh <jimw -at- TENNESSEE -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 1994 18:24:12 CDT

I agree!

Lori wraps up my sentiments exactly -- the reader wants it FAST! Besides a
good index, we should also use figures and tables where they can replace
legions of paragraphs 'cause I feel the reader also doesn't want to READ!!
S/he'd rather have a pill that he could swallow that placed the data into
his/her working memory. Excuse MY soapbox.

-- Jim Walsh jimw -at- tennessee -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com

* From: Lori Lathrop <76620 -dot- 456 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
* Subject: Re: Documentation not as important anymore?

* I'm interested in this thread because I have some theories of my own.
* What customers really want is a way to obtain the information they want
* *quickly* so they can get on with their tasks. If they can't find the
* information in the product documentation, their next step is to call a
* Hot Line or Customer Support. By that time, they are not happy campers.
* In other words, customer satisfaction is at an all-time low.

* Most of you (or, at least, those of you who have read my previous posts
* on indexing) have probably already guessed where I'm heading, and you're
* right. An index is *the* most important retrievability tool a document
* can have. There's nothing more frustrating to users than knowing that the
* information "is in the document somewhere" and not being able to find it.
* (The only thing that annoys me more is finding an index entry that looks
* interesting, turning to the referenced page to learn more, and then
* discovering that the index had led me to a dead end because the page
* reference was incorrect.)

* My point is this: If the product documentation has a comprehensive index
* that points readers to every useful nugget of information, users would not
* have to call Hot Lines or Customer Service so often. I read an article a
* few years ago (sorry, I can't remember where) that said that most of the
* information users requested from Customer Support personnel was actually
* *in* the documentation; however, the users couldn't find it because the
* index was inadequate.

* Lori Lathrop (getting off soapbox)
* Lathrop Media Services -----------> INTERNET:76620 -dot- 456 -at- compuserve -dot- com
* P.O. Box 808
* Georgetown, CO 80444
* (303)567-4011

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