The origins of task-oriented writing as a preference

Subject: The origins of task-oriented writing as a preference
From: Mark Dempsey <mxd2 -at- osi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 08:25:10 -0800

Our management has discovered we need "task-oriented" writing rather
than "reference-oriented" writing in our manuals.

IMHO, the impetus toward task-oriented writing began with popularly
available software (Word, Quicken, etc.), and is focussed on a large
audience of relatively computer-illiterated users. The "For Dummies"
books also address this audience.

Can anyone tell me the origins of this movement toward task-orientation
in writing?

Has anyone had any experience surveying computer-savvy users of more
complicated software (like ours) to see whether they want tasks or
reference information?

--
Regards,

-- mailto:Mark -dot- Dempsey -at- osi -dot- com
--
-- Mark Dempsey
-- Technical Publications
-- Objective Systems Integrators
-- 101 Park Way, Folsom, CA 95630
-- 916.353.2400 x 4777




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