RE: On degrees and the like...

Subject: RE: On degrees and the like...
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: jims -at- spsi -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000 16:17:15 PST

Anthony Markatos said:

Training programs need to focus on teaching the main thing that needs
to be done to create clear, concise, comprehensive technical communications: Obtain a rigorous understanding of end-user's goals.

[Tony went on to state that since few, if any, academic programs are focused as such, degree TW programs will continue doing what they have been doing - producing graduates that are more confused than insightful.]

Jim Schaeffer asks:

That is also the main thing that needs to be done by the product designer, the programmer, the marketer, the route salesman, the telephone support person, and so on ad nauseum. How does that produce, specifically, technical communicators and not just good business people? Note, I am not downplaying the importance of the concept. I am just pointing out that it is universal to any successful activity.

Tony Markatos responds:

Granted, obtaining this understanding is the main thing that needs to be done in development and (maybe) marketing. (Route salesman, telephone support? - I don't see these people having to have the same degree of rigor in their understanding.) This does not change the fact that obtaining this understanding is the main thing that a TW needs to do.

A rigorous understanding of end-user goals provides the necessary overall architecture necessary to effectively organize (chunk) an end-user task analysis. And effective end-user task analysis is the key input to creating highly usable (i.e., high-quality) documentation.

FYI: Except for very small systems, a rigorous understanding of end-user goals is too complex for anyone to have in his/her head. A model has to be created to capture all the interrelationships between goals and to verify that one's understanding is complete. Now if these other people (development, marketing, etc.) have created and verified such a model, then great - they can simply make a copy of it and give it to the TW to use. Of course, fat chance that this will ever happen; therefore, a TW, if he/she wants to create highly usable documentation, must obtain this understanding his/herself.

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






______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com





Previous by Author: RE: On degrees and the like...
Next by Author: RE: Request for Resume samples and Writing samples
Previous by Thread: RE: On degrees and the like...
Next by Thread: How to integrate an HTML Help system into a browser?


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads