Re: Conventions, Intros, Overviews, Help, etc.

Subject: Re: Conventions, Intros, Overviews, Help, etc.
From: "Wilcox, John (WWC, Contractor)" <wilcoxj -at- WDNI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 16:35:13 -0700

> ----------
> From: Elizabeth Kane[SMTP:bkane -at- ARTISOFT -dot- COM]
> I agree that people don't read "conventions" sections. If you
> want to make
> sure people know about the conventions you're using, you've gotta
> put a
> note about them right where you're using them.
> Most people also skip right past anything called Welcome,
> Introduction, or
> Overview just as FAST as they can! Better words are needed.
A lot of people probably don't read ANY of the book. But I put all
kinds of info in there for the people who DO.

> People go right to what sounds like task-oriented material.
That is a gross generalization. Some people never crack the cover of a
Word manual, never look at the help, figure everything out by intuition.
Other people need a 5-day course. If you know that every one of your
readers is going to know that words in all caps are keyboard keys, then
fine, don't but in a Conventions section. But you'd better be sure.
Otherwise, some fool is going to call tech support, and then tech
support is going to ask you why it isn't in the manual.

It's been my experience that most users would rather see too much info
in a manual than not enough.


John Wilcox, Documentation Specialist
Timberlands Information Services, Application Delivery Group
Weyerhaeuser, WWC 2E2, Box 2999
Tacoma, WA 98477-2999 USA
253-924-7972 mailto:wilcoxj -at- wdni -dot- com
(I don't speak for Weyerhaeuser, and they return the favor.)

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