Re: Lowest Comm.Denom./Reading

Subject: Re: Lowest Comm.Denom./Reading
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 07:48:36 -0500

Tom Guettler writ:
>The answer, I think, lies in the way we look at our mission. Here at
>Agris, we call ourselves the User Education department, and we're
>evaluating what that title really means. We're taking 'education' more
>seriously. We're taking more responsibility for understanding the
>concepts which form the basis for operation of our software. We're
>putting more effort into the tutorial portion of our help, so that
>have a context in which they can operate our system.

Tom, does your company follow or emulate the Microsoft Solution
Framework model for software development? It is "the Microsoft way" for
a User Education department to produce documentation, user-assistance
tools, CBTs, and even classroom education.

Here at Made2Manage, our Documentation Department also considers itself
a part of user education, even though organizationally our Education
department is separate from us. Our books and online Help include a
great deal of theory and concept information to support and explain the
how-to tasks. In the Help, for example, if you have no idea what a
miscellaneous accounts receivable invoice is, there's a glossary popup
for a brief definition, and a related topic that explains it in more
detail. We think that users are most likely to go to the how-to task
first, as George Hayhoe seems to have concluded, but at least if they
get stuck or confused on unfamiliar theory and concepts, one or two
mouse clicks provides supporting information.


jim grey \ Documentation Manager
Made2Manage Systems, Inc. \ jgrey -at- made2manage -dot- com

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