Re: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word

Subject: Re: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word
From: Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 12:13:21 -0600

I take issue with your statement, Mark. Like most of us on this list, I smith
words well. I also know quite a bit of technical stuff, I design damn good help
systems. If asked, I can participate in the UI development cycle because I DO
have some notion of the MS standards - and I how how to find them if I don't.
I'm not an expert in usability, but I know what it is and why it's important.
I've done testing (how else are you gonna find out if the documentation matches
the application, fer cryin' out loud?), and I know good - and bad - visual
design when I see it. And guess which I design.

That doesn't make me a Jill of all trades, Mark. It makes me EMPLOYABLE. At a
high hourly rate.

Jo Byrd

> Sharon Burton-Hardin wrote, in part:
> I know a lot of nice writers who smith words well, but I can't bring them in
> to work with us. They think they don't
> need to know technical stuff, or they have no idea how to design a help screen
> to be useful, or they can't add to the UI development cycle because they have
> no idea what the MS standard for something is or how to find out what it is.
> They know little about usability studies in docs or anything else or testing.
> They don't know about good visual design. And they wonder why they can't
> command high hourly rates

And Mark Baker responded, in part:

> Thank you for making my point for me so well. You are turning away good
> writers because they are not Jacks of all trades. That is precisely what is
> wrong with the profession at the moment. Look at the list of skills you have
> given. No one can master all those skills. If you ask them to, either they
> will do one or two things well and the rest badly, or they will do everything
> poorly.

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