Re: Document delivery on disk only?

Subject: Re: Document delivery on disk only?
From: Katharine Woods <kathw -at- FIREFOX -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1996 17:59:55 +0100

Laurie Miles wrote:

> [snip]
> His idea is to present product documentation to customers on disk
> only (no printed pieces, except for the glitzy marketing stuff).

> Does anyone out in techwr-l land have experience with this type of
> document delivery? What are the ramifications? What are customer
> objections? and so on, and so on, and so on...

The company I work for now delivers *most* of its documentation in electronic format. Here are some of the issues we had to deal with.

1) Where are customers going to get their installation info from?

2) What about background info - is there anything they need to know/
have ready before they install?

3) Can you supply the documentation on the disk in a form that is
readable before they install the product?

4) Are you going to give them electronic documentation in a form that
they can print it if they want?

5) Are you supplying the product on diskette or CD-ROM? If you're
supplying the documentation on diskette, think about how many diskettes will be needed for the documentation.

This is how we solved some of the problems.

1) We supply a printed Quick Start Installation Guide. If you're
supplying the product on a CD-ROM, then you can always slip a
handy CD booklet in the case. Bear in mind the limitations of the
size of this booklet for formatting.

2) The QSIG *should* cover this. :-)

3) We have Adobe Acrobat versions of the documentation.These are not compressed, and neither is the Acrobat Reader, so the customer can read
them before installing.

This covers the printing aspect as well. (BTW, we don't recommend that our customers use the Adobe Acrobat version as the online electronic doc - we
tell them to use the DynaText manuals for that.)

4) See answer 3.

5) Well, the Acrobat version of our doc comes to around 15 meg. That's
a fair few diskettes for the doc alone. We also supply the product on
CD-ROM which means the customers don't have spend ages swapping
diskettes in and out the drive when they install.

Hope this helps.

Katharine Woods
kathw -at- firefox -dot- co -dot- uk

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