[no subject]

From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 10:15:07 -0700

Mike Starr says.....

>I firmly believe that both the online help and the manual should be as
>thorough and comprehensive as possible and that they both should contain
>essentially the same information. I also believe that both should contain
>both task-based and reference data. IMO, anything less than that is a
>disservice to the user. Some users are more comfortable with online help,
>others are more comfortable with paper documents. We should be providing
>documentation for the end user in a form that he or she is comfortable
>using. It may cost a bit more, but I think those costs are offset by
>goodwill from satisfied customers.

Not that I disagree, but IMHO this is pretty obvious. What's at issue
is why it looks like there is a trend _away_ from this mindset.

But to answer the question...

Perhaps there is a split between the MicroSoft (Windows) world and the
Web. In the Windows world, you must have a product before you perform
a service to the customer in the form of documentation. The less service
you provide before the customer buys, the more profit you make.

On the Web, you must perform a service to the customer in the form of
useful Web pages before the customer downloads and buys the product. The
more useful the Web page, the more likely the customer will return.

Thus and IMHO, the best future of Technical Writing is on the Web.

David (The Man) Blyth
Technical Writer
Qualcomm

The usual disclaimers apply - I don't speak for QUALCOMM, they don't speak
for me....


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