Ten Questions on Standard Software Documentation & Product

Subject: Ten Questions on Standard Software Documentation & Product
From: Giovanna Patani <patanig -at- MAIL -dot- TRGLINK -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 12:38:45 -0700


I am curious to know what other software companies include with their
new product releases as "standard documentation and software
packaging". Through my association with the STC International Technical
Publications Competitions, I've seen some of the very best examples out
there but would like to get an understanding of the more widely accepted

Please contact me directly with your responses. I will be more than happy
to create a summary and post it to the Listserv. And, if you know of any
research that has already been completed on this general topic, please let
me know where I might find it. Thanks.

My Ten Questions are:
1. What is the size of your company?
1-49; 50-99; 100-150; 150+

2. What are the typical distribution numbers for your product?
1-19; 20-49; 50-99, 100+

3. Is the product software packaged on floppy disks, CD-ROM, or
distributed over the Internet?

4. Do you consider On-line Help to be supplementary, complementary, or
an alternative to a User Guide? What do your users think?

5. What elements of documentation does your company consider
Online Help
Quick Reference Guide
Getting Started Guide
User Guide
Reference Guide
Technical Manual

6. Does your company prefer to outsource the packaging
(CD-ROM/diskette production, package design, printing, etc) or produce
the entire package in-house?

7. How do you deliver updates? (Diskette, Internet, loose-leaf pages,
'Customer-only' WWW pages, etc)

8. If customers have to pay for additional copies of your print
documentation, how is the price determined? (e.g. cost plus 20%)

9. Does your company distribute its documentation electronically? If so,
what format is used? (floppy disk, CD-ROM, WWW pages, Acrobat,

10. In your opinion, is high quality documentation and packaging a high
profile issue for your managers? For your customers?

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.

Giovanna Patani
Director: Market Research
4343 E. Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Tel. (602)808-4138
Fax (602)808-4001

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