Communications Suite What If? Doc Question


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Hypothetical question to the Comms world. What if we were working on a new product and you had a chance to influence the kinds of information you needed to successfully plan for, install, configure, administer, and use said product. Would you be willing to share your thoughts, contribute ideas, and give us feedback on our plans? Again, this is strictly hypothetical.

There are of course, many ways to look at this. For example, you might suggest or rank traditional publication manuals, aka:

  • Deployment Planning Guide
  • Installation Guide
  • Release Notes
  • Administration Guide
  • Configuration Guide
  • Customization Guide
  • Online Help
  • etc.

Then again, since we are seriously thinking (hypothetically, 'natch) of potentially doing something very different in the doc space, rather than lock you in to the above traditional mentallity (which is just fine on its own), it would be nice to have thoughts and feedback on the other types of information and delivery sites that we currently provide, such as

as well as comments about Star Trek-like ideas, such as dynamically-generated documentation.

If your interest is piqued, feel free to drop a line or use the Comments section below to brainstorm.

Update 1:

One of my co-workers suggested, and rightly so, that a question such as, "If there's one thing you'd really like to see in the docs, that would really help you do your job better, what would it be?" would also be helpful. Conversely, you might also have the question, "What's been the most frustrating part of the docs?" If you find either of these questions pertinent to this endeavor, feel free to use them.

Comments:

I would really like a basic "build your own document" type system. It seems a leftover from the book paradigm to have all the "if...then" trees hanging around in an electronic document. It is very distracting to have to jump around to different places and documents in order to perform tasks. If you could do something like start with the top level document, such as "Upgrading Messaging Server 6.2 to 6.3" and then answer a few questions about your installation that would produce a document that would be free of all the "if...thens".

Posted by Michael on October 09, 2007 at 01:19 PM MDT #

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