Re: New Chapter On Right/Leave Left Page Blank

Subject: Re: New Chapter On Right/Leave Left Page Blank
From: "Merrick, Tim" <tim -dot- merrick -at- LSIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 10:28:34 -0500

Brian Donovan wrote:

"My company insists on the format of keeping the left page blank,
with the
exception of a footer, when a new chapter is started in one of our
manuals.
The point is that the new chapter must always be on the right hand
side of
the page. I realize that there is merit to this approach, but there
are
also problems. In my opinion, keeping the manuals as small as
comfortably
possible is a major concern, and this format issue is a hurtle to
this end.
Moreover, if you are using Word (please don't suggest changing word
processors, it's not the point of my post), adding blank pages can
place
you in page break hell. It personally wouldn't insult my aesthetic
sensibilities to see a chapter start on the left of a page. Would it
you?"

If you try to start chapters on the left (verso) page rather than the right
(recto) page, you will be swimming against a very strong current of reader
expectation. As John Posada pointed out, the savings in paper will be
insignificant, while the confusion to readers (and their resulting opinion
of the doc) will be quite significant.

Bottom line: listen to your users. If you want to take the time and expense
to put your idea through usability testing, I am sure you will get a
definitive answer.

Tim Merrick
Technical Publications
LSI Logic Storage Systems

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