Re: documentation on the WWW

Subject: Re: documentation on the WWW
From: Sigrid Schoepel -- writing the wrongs <sas -at- WIGGINS -dot- PENTATECHINC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1996 08:21:07 -0500

John Engler asked:
My question is this: Are there any opinions about whether users, in general,
would prefer to down-load a .PDF copy of user documentation to read in
Acrobat Reader (similar to what they do now) or whether we should convert
to HTML and put the text itself online?

My two cents:
I was all for doing WWW or CD-ROM. Most of the people here are high-tech junkies. Whatever the latest fad is, we have copies or pieces of it. However, our customers are not high-tech and doing a survey showed us that the majority can handle paper doc and windows help. (They could also handle PDF but that won't answer some of their needs.)

So, if you don't already know what your customers CAN do, talk with your customer support people or survey your customers to find. Out of the options you get from "CAN do" ask what the customers would prefer.

One (rhetorical) question: Who are your users? The junkies here are salivating over the implementation of our intranet and using the WWW browser to see all our company info. Some of the admin people couldn't care less--to them the WWW browser is a toy, one more thing to learn, and they would prefer paper (they'd probably be happier with the paper look of PDF).

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 the company for which I work.

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