reviewer's guides

Subject: reviewer's guides
From: Jennifer Collins <jcollins -at- RIVERBEDTECH -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 13:21:38 -0400


I've been asked by my company's marketing department to write a Reviewer's
Guide for one of our software products. I haven't written one before so I'm
looking for some help.

I have searched the techwirler archives for info on this topic, but to no
By reviewing other reviewer's guides (ha) I've been able to forge a coherent
However, I would be interested in tech writers' thoughts on the two topics
below. You can respond to me off-list and I'll post a summary of the

1. purpose - The examples I have reviewed are either glorified marketing
copy or super-boring installation-only guides. If my purpose is not, "here's
how to use my product and what I think you should concentrate on as you
review it", what should it be?

2. audience sophistication level - In the small sampling of documents I
reviewed, I did not find the installation/product navigation instructions to
be very user-friendly, to put it nicely. Is it acceptable/common practice
to forego procedure-type instructions in favor of paragraphs that point out
product features? Can I expect an audience of technology reporters to be
able to find their way around a GUI?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Jennifer L. Collins
Technical Writer
Riverbed Technologies, Inc.
703.847.3303 x121
jcollins -at- riverbedtech -dot- com

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