soft keys vs. hard keys vs. programmable

Subject: soft keys vs. hard keys vs. programmable
From: Melanie Shook <mshook -at- com2001 -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 11:05:18 -0600

Telecom industry question:

In looking up the definition of soft keys, I realized that what we provide
in our User Guide is incorrect, technically speaking. The audience is
end-user office workers & sales people, non-technical.

I want to differentiate between hard keys and programmable keys, which the
end-user may or may not have pre-programmed to work with our product. For
example, the hard hold and the programmed hold do not have the same
function, and this is confusing to some of our users, so we need to document
the difference. So far we have been calling this difference hard vs. soft
keys, but now I learn that soft keys and programmable keys are technically
different - a soft key changes its function based on what is displayed on
the telephone screen.

Many of the trainers use the terms hard vs. soft. I am a newcomer to this
industry and this job, so I don't know if I can successfully "educate" the
trainers as to the correct terms, especially as some of them have been in
the industry for many years and are much higher up in the company than I am.
;-) We don't have any true soft keys. So do I leave the technically
incorrect "hard vs. soft" distinction in our documentation, so as not to
confuse the users? Or do I make the less appealing, but more technically
correct, distinction of "hard vs. programmable?"

Melanie Shook
Technical Writer
(405) 419-7032
mshook -at- com2001 -dot- com

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