Re: Differences between user and technician documentation

Subject: Re: Differences between user and technician documentation
From: John Gilger <jgilger_it -at- NV -dot- DOE -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 10:21:00 -0800

Lisa,

In my last job with a software company, I faced the same problem. The
company had historically provided documentation to the techs and assumed
that the users could figure it out too.

We (the tech writers) asked the call-in help desk for a copy of their
records of the calls they had handled. We were able to show that the
docs that we were proposing would answer the majority of the user level
questions that our help desk was fielding.

Since our customers were scattered about the globe, reducing the bill
for our 1-800 number was good reason to provide more focused user
documentation.

Maybe an argument along these lines would help your cause. :-)

HTH

John

From: Comeau, Lisa [SMTP:Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA]
I am in the middle of my very own "Holy War" here,

Right now I'm compiling things like FAQs, and step-by-step docs
for users.
Our Documentation Standards Committee has a totally different
way of doing
this which is geared toward the technician. (We're talking about
computer
users and computer techs here...)

I say that documentation for the average end-user MUST be
written
differently (in tone, format, writing style) than that for
technicians.

Anyone have any ideas?




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