Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
Information format trends
Tufte's monograph The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint has been well received for its analysis and message, but it is also interesting for its old-school publishing approach. As Mark Bernstein points out, broadsheets and pamphlets were once a staple of the publishing industry. But today, it seems that the Web has largely supplanted the small print run and short treatise. In Five-Year Information Format Trends (Thanks, InfoDesign) the OCLC finds that electronic-only publishing growth outpaces paper-based distribution.
On the other hand, on-demand printing, easy low-cost Web storefronts, and simple payment processing (such as PayPal and Kagi) provide unprecedented methods and opportunities for technical writers to produce small, focused documentation for specific audiences. Seemingly all that is missing is the motivation.