Re: Do we RTFM?

Subject: Re: Do we RTFM?
From: Faith Weber <weber -at- EASI -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 10:19:50 PDT

Pat O'Connell writes:

>Actually, I think a great deal can be gotten from applying your own
>experiences as a documentation user to what you're working on. It's the old

I agree! I have been remiss about R-ing the FM in the past, but
lately I've been making more of an effort. One of the things
I find helpful in Microsoft's documentation lately is that in
addition to the 800-odd page reference manual, they often provide
a "Features Guide" (or something like that) which gives you an
overview of what the program is for, as well as some cross-references
to more detailed info about each feature. These guides are about
100 pages with lots of screen shots and such, so I can take one
home and whip through it in an evening. Then, when I'm using the
program, I'll remember there was some feature that did just what
I want, and look it up in the 800-pager.

I'd be curious to know what you folks think about this doc set
concept. It sure works well for me -- I think it results in me
looking at the manual more and having more awareness of each
product's features than if I only had the big old reference
manual. Even if there's an introductory section in the ref, I
develop a fight-or-flight response when I see a big manual!
And, since *I* feel that way, I'm trying to reduce our manuals
so they're more helpful and less intimidating to our users.

Faith Weber
EA Systems Inc.
weber -at- easi -dot- enet -dot- dec -dot- com

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