A (better) approach to writing user manuals

I just shared Tom Johnson’s latest blog post (via our own Mark Baker) with my team at the office, and decided it’s worth sharing here as well. Here’s what I wrote (rapid reaction):

http://idratherbewriting.com/2012/07/31/misconceptions-about-topic-based-authoring/

He’s arguing that users “adapt” to unhelpful user manuals by skimming, but what if we make them more useful? I think we’ve done good work on that front.

 He also argues that instead of “topics,” which tend to be a rough amalgamation of tasks and only as well organized as the UI that drives them, we should think of writing “articles.” If each block of content stands, on some level, on its own, users might embrace it more readily. You can still use an overall structure to tie it all together.

What does this community think?

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