Re: Type of binding

Subject: Re: Type of binding
From: K R Wolfe <keith -at- MERGE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 10:49:20 -0500

I'm just beginning to do some research on tbook binding, as well. I will
tell you a bit of what I found. Some of this is also personal opinion.

Most importantly, find out what your users like, want, and need.
Specifically, what are their work stations like. Does the new format
complement those work stations? What are the needs of the document?

Every format has it's own pros and cons. You have to weigh each one out
and compare them with the needs of your users.

For example...
A side spiral binding is good for the desktop. It can be folded back upon
itself to fit on a cluttered desktop.

3-ring binders are good if pages are addes or deleted on a regular basis.

Saddle stitching is ideal for smaller, 1/2 sized docs.

Another importatnt point:
How many docs have you read that have a top spiral binding? I'm guessing
mot many. When you get a new user manual with, say, some software, you
expect it to look a certain way. You know how to navigate through that
document. When you go changing the format to top bound, you violate the
schema each reader has about that document. This could easily compromise

Consider the following:

Possible Cons
New format from the norm... hard to adapt?
How will the info be formatted per page? (i.e., any info on facing pages?
If so, how does this effect your reader?)
Will the document compromise work space?

Possible Pros
Top spiral format is good for taking notes (e.g., the spiral doesn't get in
the way)
The format might be useful to you readers

My main point:
Sometimes it's good to break the rules, but make SURE it's a good reason
and "helps" the user. After all, they're the whole reason we're in this

-K R Wolfe

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