TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Recognition at last! From:Michael John Little <hypercom -at- C031 -dot- AONE -dot- NET -dot- AU> Date:Sat, 9 Nov 1996 07:03:07 +1100
Eric, you are absolutely right....just wait to see the user manual for MS
FrontPage....22 pages, but the book from MS Press cost about $65AUS. I know
Bill gates has got his priorities right!
> From: Eric J. Ray <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Recognition at last!
> Date: Wednesday, 6 November 1996 2:05
> Er. Well. Great in principle. Yes, but...
> The Microsoft Getting Results manual is distributed as the user?s
> manual, but takes a rather unconventional and sparse
> approach to documenting the software.
> If I bought Office and actually expected usable hardcopy
> documentation, I'd be steamed. From my perspective,
> the Getting Results book is an expanded outline of
> functional user tasks (so far, so good), with minimal
> and vague actual content (not so good). Heck, anyone with
> experience using word processors and a decent
> requirements document could write the Getting
> Results book for Word without seeing the software.
> >From page 103 -- where I opened the book. "What to
> do first" for creating a newsletter. In brief,
> it tells to use Search and Replace to change
> formatting, or to attach a template for extensive
> changes. (No explanation of templates or styles.)
> General info about converting files and how to
> count words.
> The margin notes tell users to use online
> help to look up: file formats, templates,
> styles, finding formatting.
> Additionally, for help on dialog box options,
> users are encouraged to click the ? button.
> Come on! I think that's too sketchy
> for beginners and unusable (too remedial) for
> more advanced users.
> 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.