reader feedback.

Subject: reader feedback.
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Brierley -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 10:47:47 -0400


I'm r-posting this because I didn't see it show up on the list after
originally sending it at 09:30. Would some of you mind letting me know
directly by e-mail if this message hits the list and if the first one did,
also <mailto:sean -at- quodata -dot- com>.


I know it's been discussed before, but the archives don't provide an answer
that I can sink my teeth into . . . perhaps there isn't one.

In what ways can I find out how readers use my books, what helps, what turns
them off, what additional info they need, and what is superfluous? It's a
feedback thing.

My company provides free phone support. Our customer base is continuously
growing. Our support staff is stretched pretty thin. I can think of no easy
way to track which tech calls could have and could not have been resolved by
reading the book. Similarly, I can think of no way to measure a relative
increase or decrease in support calls resulting from a change in
documentation, and isolating other variables, like more intuitive GUI.

Since before I got here, software comment forms are included in all books.
They don't get filled out. If they did, I'm not sure where they'd go. I'm
also unsure what and how to ask for information, such that the information
is useful. Also, how do I ensure that the reader does not fill it out on the
first day, before they use the book, or that the reader's boss, who does not
use the software, doesn't fill it out? Our customer base is pretty small. A
good number of responses would be no more than a few hundred.

General thoughts?


sean -at- quodata -dot- com

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