Making Manuals User Friendlier

Subject: Making Manuals User Friendlier
From: PIP Mailbox <prc -at- PIP -dot- DKNET -dot- DK>
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 14:32:09 +1

On 5 March Jane Bergen wrote:

>Unfortunately, the bookstores are full of books about how to make the
>pages look pretty, how to avoid passive tense, or where to put commas.
>It's much harder to find good books which discuss the issues of
>readability, legibility, analyzing readers, etc. When I was studying
>tech writing in graduate school we had a few good textbooks, but the
>books, articles, etc. all were at least 5-10 years old. Little is
>being done now, evidently, which is why this list is so helpful. We
>need more studies based on real-world situations. We need more
>information on using the tools and technologies available today to
>accomplish "making manuals user friendlier" rather than a simplistic,
>one-shot approach.

So right you are Jane! And thanks for your compliments.

I have been looking for good books about this subject for a long
time, and last summer I decided to write such a book myself for two
1. Somebody had to do something, and I had some of the tools from my
seminars for the Danish Engineering Society's seminars, which I
run on this subject.
2. I wanted to make a session on the subject on FORUM 95 and wanted
more response than I would have got without a book.

I wrote the book, made my FORUM 95 session and sold some copies.
And I got a lot of positive response on my ideas. Some of the
response was additional points to the subject, other comments was of
the type: "That's something I can use."

The name of the book is: "The PQM System - How to write better user
manuals and control their quality yourself." and it deals primarily
with how to make manuals more user friendly. The price is DKK 200 +
Danish VAT if applicable + mailing costs, which to the US and Canada
gives a total price of US$ 57. You can buy it directly from me. There
is more info on it on my homepage (see below) from where you can click
on the underscored reference "book" in the section "What is PRC".

If somebody else knows about recommendable books on the subject,
please tell me about it.

Peter Ring
PRC - specialist in user frindly manuals and quality measurements on manuals
prc -at- pip -dot- dknet -dot- dk

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