TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: reasons for online From:Timothy Schablin <timothy -at- ESKIMO -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 20 Dec 1994 12:58:37 -0800
I agree with you virginia. any online docs must be USABLE to the
consumer. I wonder though, what would happen if consumers were forced to
use online docs and they didn't like the online idea. I suppose they
would ignore the docs like 70% of consumers do now.
We must write documentation to suit the reader, not our pockets.
On Mon, 19 Dec 1994, Virginia L. Krenn wrote:
> A question just occurred to me when I read this message. We were
> given a set of manuals for a purchased software system. The manuals
> contain a provision that they may not be reproduced and that
> additional copies must be purchased from the vendor.
> If the documentation is online, would it be customary to allow
> multiple copies to be printed?
> ______________________________ Reply Separator ____________________
> Author: Caryn Rizell <caryn -at- hpptc95 -dot- rose -dot- hp -dot- com> at SMTP
> I got to thinking the other day about the reasons that we are putting our
> documentation online. Are we doing it to give the customer easier access
> help, or are we doing it to save our company money in printing costs?
> I know that saving money was the motivation at one company I worked for.
> The tech pubs department was seen as a money spender, not a money
> earner. So how best to cut costs? Put the cost burden of access to
> documentation on the customer. Just give them one manual and let them
> print out anything else as they needed it from online.
> Is that common? By providing online docs are we meeting the
> customer's needs?
> I am a big proponent of online docs if they are usable. Right now I
> find that a manual's index is far superior to any online index I have
> seen. Which means that I usually find my answers more quickly in the