Re: Query: Docs delivery via web?

Subject: Re: Query: Docs delivery via web?
From: "Peter Ring, PRC" <prc -at- PRC -dot- DK>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 11:01:38 +1

Damien Braniff wrote:

> We are currently looking at moving to electronic docs (for our software
> initially) to be supplied on CD with the software and, once this has been
> achieved, via our web page so that the latest version is always available.
> For the MA I'm currently doing I'm looking at the best way of doing this -
> PDF, HTML, etc. I'm still currently in the information gathering stage :
> survey of users - what they want, need, don't want etc.; looking at how
> people learn; the type of users we have - PC literate etc. The initial
> stab is going to be PDF - from the company's point of view it's easy to do,
> much cheaper, full text indexes can be easily added, printable etc.
> Initially both paper and online docs are being supplied with the paper
> being phased out over several months. Option still available to buy the
> manuals if required.
> My research is more geared towards the next generation of the software
> where the documentation will, effectively, be starting from scratch.
> Basically we're on a learning curve and using the current docs to see what
> people think of the online format. This is the way the company wants to go
> so our aim is to make sure we get it right and provide all the information
> in a form the customer can and will use.

For now I would stay with PDF. It's not the ideal solution, but
please bear in mind, that most people tend to print out the Help
pages before the start using the Help info. And don't forget to
include the installation exe file with the latest free version of
Adobe Acrobat on the CD.

HTML-help seems still to need some further development before it's a
real option. The only exception could be complicated web based
services like web banking.

For a further discussion of this subject, see my latest "Tip of the
month" for November 1998 "On-screen help/manuals/tutorials" on
(later on to be found as "tip-9811.htm").

Greetings from Denmark

Peter Ring
PRC (Peter Ring Consultants)
- specialists in user friendly manuals.
prc -at- prc -dot- dk
- the "User Friendly Manuals" website with links, bibliography, list
of prof. associations, and tips for technical writers:
- text cleaning software, e.g. for reading difficult e-mails:

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