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Subject:Re: To index or not... From:Marilyn Gelman <gelman -at- SUN490 -dot- FDU -dot- EDU> Date:Sun, 16 Oct 1994 10:13:20 GMT
For a graduate advanced tech writing project, I asked people to tell me what
they thought about software documentation.
Technical writers (we use docs also), students (college, grad, post-doc), and
business people all suggested that an index is one of the most important
features of print docs. Users will forgive almost any flaw in the design or
execution of documentation - if the doc contains a good, sensible, robust index.
The users want a good tool - with cross-references, synonyms, levels, etc. FYI:
Many of the interviews were via the net.
At work, my ex-employer's customers considered a 500 page manual without a
GOOD index to NOT be documentation ( I wasn't the one who prepared it, btw).
The customers did not value information they could not find.
Does anyone know the correct phrasing or the source of an old saw that says
something like: "It's not a sin if you don't know something; it is a sin
if you don't know how to look it up."?