Re: ADMIN: Re: OT How do I unsubscribe?.. reading directions

Subject: Re: ADMIN: Re: OT How do I unsubscribe?.. reading directions
From: SusanH -at- cardsetc -dot- com -dot- au
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 13:23:54 +1100


Jo Bryd wrote
<<Your point, Eric, illustrates one of my pet theories about technical
writers,
especially those of us who write directions for a living - and do it very
well.
We're the worst in the world when it comes to reading directions.>>

I go further than Jo... we are not "the worst in the world".. we are simply
like the whole world when it comes to reading directions (or anything
else).. Few people want to read to do or even learn to do unless they are
forced to... quite a challenge when you think of the implications for what
we spend our lives producing.

For me, the first good book that examined user behaviour for "needing
information" was John Carroll's Nurnberg Funnel... He has a wonderful
chapter called "The paradox of sense making" (hope my recollection is
correct). Apart from stressing the primary user information need that he
discerned in user behaviour, the chapter also shows how narrow the user's
vision range is when looking for/recognising the information.

On the other hand, I guess the footer to a mail is like the messages that
appear in the status bar of a window... not exactly noticed.

Susan Harkus






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