Re: Printed vs. Online: What mix?

Subject: Re: Printed vs. Online: What mix?
From: Bonni Graham <bonnig -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 00:44:48 -0700

Mike Star wrote:

>I'd like to get a feel for how other companies out there blend printed
>and online software documentation. <snip> How do you vote?

>1. Comprehensive printed/comprehensive online

>2. Minimal printed/comprehensive online

>3. Comprehensive printed/minimal online

4. None of the above. I structure my manuals according to four basic

a) What is it? (descriptive text for each dialog/screen)
b) How do I do it? (procedural text for each process)
c) Why do I do it? (theoretical/background information)
d) Why did it do THAT? (troubleshooting/error message interpretation

The informal research I've done suggests that most people look for a,
abbreviated b and c, and d (when the system isn't crashed) online. They
look for more detailed b and c, and system-crashing d on paper.

It doesn't fit any of the models Mike suggested above, but so far my
clients' users LOVE it.

Bonni Graham
Manual Labour
bonnig -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com

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