I had a happy Monday this morning when a fellow in for a training class sought me out and shook my hand for writing a good upgrade guide. He said he gave up reading documentation about 5 years ago when everything started coming out on CD and seemed to be written overseas by people who didn't use the product. He had lost confidence in all user documentation. When he was forced into an upgrade of our product, he was glad to get a printed upgrade guide (it is a complex procedure) and he was happy to see that it accurately reflected his experience. In this case, the primary motivaiton to read the manual was the complexity of the task he faced. After that, the availability of a printed manual made him feel like we were serious about helping him to succeed, and the accuracy of the material helped him keep his confidence up as he soldiered on through the long, scary process. He says he will now continue to read our documentation because he feels he can trust it.
John Sgammato Principal Technical Writer Imprivata, Inc -----Original Message----- From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com [mailto:framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of Sharon Burton Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 10:22 AM To: 'Shmuel Wolfson'; 'Garnier Garnier'; 'Framers' Subject: RE: Motivating end users to read the user manual Have you considered sitting with the users and asking them what the issues are and why they don't like the materials? Don't defend what you've done, listen to why these materials are not doing what you think they should be doing. Ask questions, lots of questions. It could be as easy as they are visual learners and they need flow charts and other graphics. It could be as complicated as they never see the training materials because those get locked away somewhere. Perhaps Job Aids and Quick Starts would help. But until you talk to the users and find out what they need that they aren't getting, you're only guessing. You don't get to decide the docs are sufficient, tho - your users get to decide that. sharon Sharon Burton 951-369-8590 IM: sharonvburton at yahoo.com Blog: madcapsoftware.wordpress.com -----Original Message----- From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com [mailto:framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of Shmuel Wolfson Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 6:47 AM To: Garnier Garnier; Framers Subject: Re: Motivating end users to read the user manual The fact is that people don't like to read. Exhaustive training material is "exhaustive" to read. If there are specific "do"s and "don't"s that are *not* intuitive, make a short 1-3 page list, print it on color paper, and put it in the box with the product. That they might read. -- Regards, Shmuel Wolfson Technical Writer 052-763-7133 Garnier Garnier wrote: > Hi listers, > > I would like some feedback on this issue which I am sure most of us face. Please write to me directly as most of the time the mails form forums bounces and I do not receive them. Not sure about the reason. > > I put in a lot of effort to create an exhaustive training material. It includes all information in detail and all the steps too are documentented in simple English. The training material is very technical and includes all the required details and instructions. Still none of the engineers bother to read the contents and when they are at the customer site for training they start complaining that nothing is working. The engineers are familiar with the product no doubt about it but there are certain "do's" that they ought to know and which is documented in the training material which none bother to read. > > I welcome suggestions for improvement in the document or otherwise > that will prompt the end user to read the training material contents instead simply complaining "nothing is working". > > B/R > Garnier > _______________________________________________ You are currently subscribed to Framers as jsgammato at imprivata.com. Send list messages to framers at lists.frameusers.com. To unsubscribe send a blank email to framers-unsubscribe at lists.frameusers.com or visit http://lists.frameusers.com/mailman/options/framers/jsgammato%40imprivat a.com Send administrative questions to listadmin at frameusers.com. Visit http://www.frameusers.com/ for more resources and info.