Re: Post-its for Online Reviewing

Subject: Re: Post-its for Online Reviewing
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 15:14:43 -0400

We use Acrobat Exchange with the Re:Mark plug-in. Reviewers can
underline, highlight, sketch, add virtual sticky notes, stamp things
"approved", etc., to their hearts' content. They review the docs and the
help this way. (Note: Each reviewer must have a copy of Exchange or have
access to one.)

99% of the time I get more detailed comments (and faster, too) this way
than by doing hard copy. I think I get results because it's more fun.
Also, they can have the doc open right next to the app, so it's easier
to check their facts. Plus, the psychological edge is mine -- they don't
see how big the stack is that they are reviewing :-)

Only two people refuse to do online reviews: One manager who gets
headaches looking at the screen for too long (she does such timely,
thorough reviews, I don't complain when she asks for hardcopy). The
other is a guy whose wife just had a baby. He spends lots of time in
doctors' offices and at home baby-sitting, so he likes to have hardcopy
to take with him.

I found people were reluctant to start doing reviews this way at
first--the fear of the unknown and all that. I solved that by spending a
few minutes with each reviewer the first time to demonstrate how to open
the document and start marking away. Once they saw how easy it was, they
were sold.

Our process: On a network drive, I create a copy of the file for each
reviewer (for example, JoeBlowChapter1.PDF). Then, I send an e-mail
message to the reviewers telling them where their files are. They do
their virtual mark-ups and send me e-mail when they are done. I import
all their comments into one file (each person's notes are identified
automatically by Exchange) and start revising.

Works like a charm, but can be expensive! A much better solution would
be if there was a cheap plug-in that would let you mark up docs for
Reader, which is free. (Note: the Common Ground reader does include a
mark-up facility. Their digital paper (equivalent of PDF) is very
interesting. Also, they have some interesting cross-platform solutions
like a Java reader. That might be another alternative.)

A.

--
Alexia Prendergast
Tech Pubs Manager
Seagate Software (Durham, NC, USA)
mailto:alexiap -at- seagatesoftware -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Miller [SMTP:joemiller -at- CANBERRA -dot- COM]
> Sent: Monday, October 13, 1997 3:38 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Post-its for Online Reviewing
>
> Walter Jones at tritech.com just asked about notes
> posted on help files on a network drive. Along the
> same lines, can anyone suggest a way for online
> reviewers of a doc (probably a PDF file) to post their
> comments on the page to be corrected. Ideally, the
> notes should be readable, and further commented on,
> by other reviewers.
>
> Since my company, like so many others, wants to put
> user docs online, I think our in-house doc reviewers
> must be willing to read and review the docs online.
> Is it not so?
>
> --Joe
> joemiller -at- canberra -dot- com
>
> ~~
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