Re: Respect or no/Manuals by the inch

Subject: Re: Respect or no/Manuals by the inch
From: David Somers <David -dot- SOMERS -at- ST -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:32:30 +0200

So far, I've trimmed 25% without comprimising the usability of the
documentation too much. A fair bit of that came from just cutting out
a whole pile of stuff that isn't yet officially suported in the
application... the fact these options are visible and/or not grayed
out is a(nother) UI issue ;-)

Splitting into quick reference and user's guide isn't an option since
the documentation set has already been split.

Respect-wise, the documentation I'm working on was 3 to 18 months out
of date before they took me on (as a consultant) to update it... and a
lot of that was written by the (french-speaking) system analysts, so
you can just imagine what it was like. I think that is a good
indicator of how much 'value' is placed on the documentation.


David Somers
david -dot- somers -at- st -dot- com
(Usual disclaimer - speaking for myself and not ST)

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Respect or no/Manuals by the inch

----- Begin Included Message -----

David Somers writes:

> re: manuals by the inch:
> I had a meeting yesterday with my project leader to got through some
> documentation that I'd put together. His main comment 'Its too big;
> reduce the page count in half.'

----- End Included Message -----

While that is somewhat a ridiculous comment (ok, I'm being generous), responding
glibbly, as Robert suggested, would only compound the problem. It sounds like
your project leader already has a lack of respect for you and the job you
perform. Turn the comment around on your project leader. "OK, what do you
think is superfluous and we can talk about removing it or reducing its
presence." This gives you the opportunity to explain what you did and why the
book is "too big."

How about suggesting two books, a quick refernce and a user's guide?

In our books, we removed a lot of unnecessary screen snapshots and reduced
our page count by about 30%. Maybe you have too many graphics?

Just a couple of thoughts.

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