Re: Information Mapping

Subject: Re: Information Mapping
From: "Sigrid A. Schoepel" <sas -at- WIGGINS -dot- PENTATECHINC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 09:43:24 -0500

1) Does anyone use Information Mapping as their company standard for technical documentation?
I work/worked for two companies that use Information Mapping.


2) If so, how do your customers like it?
At the first company I have no idea how the customers liked it. We were not allowed to survey the clients.
At the second company (my current employer) I started about a year after the first IM manual went out to the customers. The customers like it but mostly because the manual was the first time any procedures on how to use the product were published (no lie). They have since gotten used to it and the complaints about documentation continue.


3) Has your company ever rejected Information Mapping as their standard, and if so, why?
We are abandoning the IM format. We are using MS Word and to use the IM style requires placing everything in tables or using some very annoying tabs and indents.

We have set up a style more like the Microsoft literature (the comparison was made because MS literature is wide-spread, not because I love MS). Since we are going to online help, having the paper documentation in a format like MS literature will allow use to move information in paper documents into online more easily.


IMHO, all Information Mapping, Inc. did was take good writing techniques, create a template and style guide, and ask people to pay large amounts of money to get it. You can be just as unclear, inconsistent, and incorrect using IM as any other format. There's no substitute for good writing, a comprehensive style and maintenance guide, thorough reviews, and consistency.

Sigrid Schoepel
Senior Technical Writer
sas -at- pentatechinc -dot- com


Penta Technologies, Inc.
250 S. Executive Dr., Suite 201
Brookfield, WI 53005
The views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of Penta Technologies, Inc.

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