Re: Comments on Weiss' two-spread manual ?

Subject: Re: Comments on Weiss' two-spread manual ?
From: David Demyan <concord -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 11:07:58 -0700

Veerle Kerstens wrote:
>"How to write a usable users manual" from Edmond Weiss. I found however
>no comment on his approach in journal articles, specially on the two-spread
>modular design he proposes. I wonder what I
>should conclude: didn't he have any influence, (in the contrary of f.e.
>J. Caroll's minimal manual) or didn't I find the right literature ?
>Has anyone of you experience with his approach, or comments ? Does it work ?

Veerle, I'm not sure why Ed Weiss is not referenced more in the literature.
I took his basic seminar years 'n' years ago and I found it to be very
career influencing.

Many writers use the two-page spread to present information. I used a
variant myself to document computer screens, the fields on them, and
procedures to use them, but it was not as formalized as Dr. Weiss'
model. In particular, I did not use the Control Bar, Section, Headline,
or Summary elements, per se. I did include this important information
in other, customized elements, such as the header of BOTH pages.

My informal model was more like: left page - several standardized
procedures subsections; right page - screen example, table of
field descriptions, and active function key description.

My users found this approach very useful. The positive feedback and
contract extensions (even an award plaque and gift certificate, if
you can believe!!!!) that I received on that assignment was proof
to me that the modified two-page spread approach that I had learned
originally from Ed Weiss was an important tool. I'm sure I'll use it
again. Thanks Dr. Weiss!

Dave Demyan *** Mendem Concord, Inc.
(908) 753-8500 *** One Mountain Blvd.
concord -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com *** Warren, NJ 07059
FAX: (908) 754-8224

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