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Subject:manuals in pdf or hard copy From:"Gutierrez, Diane" <Diane -dot- Gutierrez -at- WESTGROUP -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 16 Dec 1998 11:45:53 -0600
As one who has been a consumer far longer than a tech writer, here is my
$.02. When I buy anything with a learning curve, I want a thick, colorful,
reader-friendly and interesting BOOK in the package, not a fat cardboard
cheater and a CDROM.
I want a book to dogear, crack the spine, to scribble in, carry, occupy my
downtime and waiting time, use before or after hassling with the object, and
just to depend on, knowing it's not going to be as slippery as a scrolling
monitor screen. I it to stimulate my imagination, tease me with
hypothetical situations and applications, and excite me to try out the
various bells and whistles, add to my understanding with background tidbits,
and to lead me on, reassuring me I am on the right track. They have not yet
invented a reader akin to an Etch-a-Sketch with resolution that won't put
you to sleep or make you blind, that can be accidentally dropped or
satisfyingly thrown against the wall. As a tech writer, I am constrained by
the templates, styles and printer requirements of each job that were never
determined by the consumer. Also, most of us believe the consumer never
reads the docs. Too bad. We need a better fit between the TW's abilities
and the consumer's preferences.