Re: Recognition at last!

Subject: Re: Recognition at last!
From: Bruce Covell <brucec -at- CCTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 06:56:28 +0000

> The authors state that their job is to "provide a map"
> to help the readers complete their tasks efficiently.
> They explicitly refer readers to the "online user
> assistance system" for details about using the product.
> Then, they list additional sources for information,
> from the Microsoft Network to the Internet to a list
> of Microsoft Press Publications to provide detailed
> documentation.

- snip -

> Studies of user input and usability for the Word for
> Windows 95 documentation should prove enlightening. If
> usability studies and user opinion validate this approach,
> technical communicators everywhere should be able to
> dramatically cut their own development costs, shift the
> burden of obtaining documentation to the customer, and
> ensure a continuing revenue stream for the company by
> producing their own third-party documentation.

> Eric

Well, if they're reducing the content of printed docs in favor of
other forms, and if the required information is actually in, say, the
online help, wizards, cue cards, and so on, then those writers are
still generating as much content as before. I'll bet someone on this
list can provide some insight into the usability studies that may
have suggested shifting from printed docs as the ultimate source of
all product info. Any takers?

Bruce Covell
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.

Bruce Covell Cooper and Chyan Technology Inc.
brucec -at- cctech -dot- com 1601 S. De Anza Boulevard
408.342.5630 Cupertino, CA 95014

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