FWD: Who is my audience?

Subject: FWD: Who is my audience?
From: Damien Braniff <Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 14:41:56 +0100

One question immediately springs to mind - why are you only allowed one
"set" of docs? Is this financial constraints or simply the view that you
only need one?

If you ARE really limited to one I feel that you have two options:

Document everything in all its glory and put most people off - they
probably won't read it.

Decide who makes up the vast majority of your audience and write from
them. Essentially exclude those you feel won't use it anyway - a
dangerous assumption!

Ideally you want THREE types of documentation (could be phased in over
time), namely:

Reference manuals that cover everything. Provide info for those that
want to get to the nitty gritty - all those lovely features that others
never even knew existed.

A "Quick Reference User Guide" - possibly small A5 manual detailing the
MAIN features that everybody uses. Should be small enough not to put
people off using it. With something like this I've found that people
feel happier going to a reference manual(s) for more if they need it.
As long as the original lit isn't off-putting.

On-line version of (1) and (2) combined. May even get away with
skipping (1). Ref manuals with cue cards for common features.

My ideas for what it's worth.

Damien Braniff
Technical Author
PAC International

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