RE: Size of Training Guides

Subject: RE: Size of Training Guides
From: "Megan Golding" <megan -dot- golding -at- dvtsensors -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 09:07:49 -0400

[Tom Hinds writes...]
> Is there an 'average' size for training guides. I know this question is
> pretty general and the size relies on many factors (subject matter,
> audience, etc.), but with a series of guides, what (IYO) is a
> good size for
> each. Our current guides are about 50 pages each, which include
> many screen
> shots.


While not claiming expert status on this topic, I've found that about 50
pages is a good length for a training guide. I've had experience with longer
guides and seen some shorter ones.

At one point, my company had a 200 page guide that was intimidating to users
(and as such, never was read). More recently, I've been trying to reduce the
page count on our 50 page guide and keep finding myself landing right back
at 50 pages.

Our training guides cover a software package that has a steep initial
learning curve. As such, my "basic" guide is the largest (as I mentioned
earlier, this weighs in at 50 pages). My "intermediate" guide is much
shorter -- only about 25 pages. I've just found that with our product, that
the intermediate users need less verbage and more out-and-out examples. In
my intermediate guide, I simply list a series of increasingly complex
examples (with very little traditional "instruction").

Applications Engineer
DVT Corporation
Norcross, GA

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