Rules of Thumb for Estimating/Budgeting Online Documentation

Subject: Rules of Thumb for Estimating/Budgeting Online Documentation
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 12:19:00 +0100

Hello Bill,

* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von "Marshall, William (Bill)" an All am 29.05.96

"W> From: "Marshall, William (Bill)" <MarshallW -at- bv -dot- com>

"W> I am trying to estimate/budget time required for doing online
"W> documentation and paper manuals.

"W> Please, will you share your rules of thumb and lessons learned?

- Consensus seems to be some 1.5 ... 5 pages a day (of the final manual).
There are people claiming up to 20 pages a day, but they are very rare.

- You might do an online version of your paper manual, as they are
delivered with many pre-installed programs sold with computers. These
versions can be made quite easily with tools like Doc-to-Help.

- In my opinion, context-sensitive online help is quite another sort of
mice. Whenever possible, I do context-sensitive stuff independently
of any paper documentation.

- You might be able to put introductory texts, overviews and so on in the
paper manual und most of the reference materials into the context-
sensitive online help. This can reduce the paper documentation greatly,
e.g. by 50%.

- Writing context-sensitive online documentation is *much* slower than
writing paper documentation. Consider no more than half the volume
of paper documentation.

Greetings from Germany,

PS: Some of you might have missed my messages. I only get some 4 messages a
day through bit.listserv.techwr-l. If that continues I will consider the much
more expensive solution of receiving the mailing list directly.

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