Re: Web media

Subject: Re: Web media
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com, tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 13:34:40 PST

Tony Markatos responds:

....In any communications project - paper-based or web - the main thing that needs to be done is to obtain a rigorous understanding of the end-user's goals. Yourdon & Associates state that this is ninty-eight percent (98%) if the REQUIRED work.

Andrew Plato responds:

The web is a media outlet, like television. Therefore building sites is a complex media and development process - not purely a writing task.

Tony Markatos responds:

If you are saying that web surfers are, like TV "channel-surfers", often not very goal driven, I can see this. However, web site organization is still very important; you can not just randomly position stuff. And the only truely effective way to organize (partition) is by end-user goals.

About Writing: Andrew, VERY few people mistake me to be 'gun-ho' for writing. The simple truth is that for technical communications - even paper-based - writen text is a very poor tool for documenting procedural information. If you want to say that writen text is also a poor chose for communicating non-procedural information, (web or otherwise) you won't get any argument from me.

Andrew Plato said:

You can whine all you want about how the site must cater to the needs of the user, but if you can't grasp the architectural aspects of how the site does this - they you cannot exploit that technology to
meet your oh so dear end-user needs.

Tony Markatos responds:

Ask yourself, which of the following is more "real world":

Company A: A very rigorous analysis was performed on the product's (web site's) end-users. And, based upon this analysis, the product's interface was designed to be very user friendly. However, the development effort fell apart because we simply could not find enough "techies" to implement the design.

Company B: We have enough "techies" - everybody here is a techie. But nobody really knows (or cares to know) the end-user. As a result, the web site is a failure because it does not meet the user's needs and is too hard to understand.

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

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