Re. Choosing between online and on paper

Subject: Re. Choosing between online and on paper
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 12:29:49 LCL

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer asked for guidelines on when to put info. online
vs. on paper. Here's a quick initial triage:

1. If it will be read on a bus, in the bathroom or anywhere away from
your computer, put it on paper. If your software won't let you display
the information on-screen without concealing the context, put it on

2. If it concerns an immediate event (e.g., an error message), must be
context-sensitive, requires fast (or fuzzy) searching capabilities,
may be printed out (rather than photocopied), must be cut-and-pasted
into a wordprocessor or database, or if you want the user to see the
information without having to look back and forth between a book and
the screen, put it online. (Other points: if animation or sound will
improve comprehension, it can't go on paper.)

3. If some or all of both points apply, put the information in both

--Geoff Hart #8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of
our reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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