Stay updated
Keep current with the latest trends in technical communication by subscribing to the I'd Rather Be Writing newsletter. 5,400+ subscribers

Search results

Input needed:
I'm gathering data about trends in developer documentation for 2020. If you write docs for developers, please take this survey. (You can view the ongoing results here.)

Chrysler Drops Long Car Manuals in Favor of Short Guides + Video

by Tom Johnson on Sep 30, 2009 •
categories: technical-writing

Chrysler moved their car manuals from the traditional thick paper manual to a shorter format  accompanied by a DVD. Chrysler says the switch will not only save 20,000 trees a year, the videos on the DVD will also be more helpful to users trying to perform tasks. The shorter quick reference guides will still be 60-80 pages long (judging from the photo below, they also look more attractively designed).

Chrysler's new documentation strategy: short guides + video + DVD
Chrysler's new documentation strategy: short guides + video + DVD

With my emphasis on quick reference guides and video tutorials, I feel like I've followed a similar move as Chrysler's. I do like to have a car manual in my glove box, but only for simple, quick information -- what type of oil, what does this or that light mean, how do you change a bulb, etc. I don't need to know the full array of reference information. When I need that info, I can look it up on a computer and print off the relevant topics.

(There's a brief discussion on the latest New York Times Tech Talk podcast about the move from paper manuals to DVDs.)

follow us in feedly