Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
The hidden cost of complex documentation
Writing Manuals Show Way to More Profits for the Chicago Tribune, Erin Massey discusses how some companies are finding that a less-complex and more user-friendly manual actually increases customer satisfaction and, possibly, lowers after-sale support costs. When the documentation is unusable, or just plain intimidating, customers ignore it and try to figure out a product on their own, which can lead to broken products, costly returns, and long support calls that try to unravel the resulting mess. In brief, less really is more, which is a fine sentiment for this day-after-Christmas article.