Why aren't manuals prettier?

Why do companies spend so much time and money making their marketing materials shine, and so little on their product documentation? Kathy Sierra tackles this question on the Creating Passionate Users blog and makes some interesting points on how it undermines the customer relationship. But even more interesting are the comments that follow, many of which are technical writers defending their staid, boring approach. I've long thought the answer to this question lies in the fact that manuals don't sell products (as in, nobody buys a product because of the manual) but there are plenty of good points that will make nearly anyone question their assumptions.

Posted: September 8, 2006 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item