Change Pages

Subject: Change Pages
From: Documania <dcma -at- MAIL1 -dot- NAI -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 17:28:47 -0500

Maybe I'm missing something here . . . but some of the operating
assumptions being presented in this discussion (re sending change pages vs.
complete revised documents) strike me as bizarre.

Example: "I believe that sending out complete, updated manuals is more
effective than sending out changed pages, _though the users tend to ignore
both_ [emphasis mine]."

I have seen this remark several times now; and, combined with my own
experience, I'm sure it's true. In that case, when deciding whether to send
pages or a new manual, why not use the easiest, cheapest, fastest means?
Forget any other criteria. Given how much resources are used in assembling
a manual, I would expect that to be a carefully paced (both schedule and
production) exercise. In-between updates would then be fired off in the
simplest form. Those who need the info will have it promptly; those who
ignore it won't be wasting your time, energy, and materials.

Then there was the question, "How is a user supposed to know whether it's
[the change pages] just correcting something trivial or disclosing a
critical fact?"

Uh, how about LOOKING AT THE DAMN THING!

Sorry, sorry. I mean to say, your packaging should communicate whether or
not the update is critical. A cover-page bullet list, perhaps. If the users
don't look at it, that's their problem. But why bother sending anything
that _isn't_ critical? Save the trivial changes for when you overhaul the
entire manual.

Perhaps users would pay more attention to changes if only critical
information was sent to them.

Carolyn Haley
DocuMania
dcma -at- ct1 -dot- nai -dot- net

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