RE: non-tech techwr better for end users (was "same boat")

Subject: RE: non-tech techwr better for end users (was "same boat")
From: Sanjay Srikonda <SSrikonda -at- invlink -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 10:37:57 -0500

Oh, my, I agree with john garison. each industry demands a certain level of
understanding, whether it's learned on the job or in formal training
sessions, it still needs to be learned.

To that end, and to reiterate the nursing student's needs in terms of
documentation, I think i'd be very wary of a nursing student who looked at a
heart monitor and wondered what the flat line meant, or who asked the
question, "What does this button do?" I'd run.

When I read Tracy's entire posting, I was slightly bemused. If she were
documenting a heart monitor or the like for her nursing students, then the
type of information that her students would probably want to know is exactly
the kind of information she castigated the auto writer for including.

Information needs vary all over the place. We cannot always predict what
some people will want and what other people will not want. We sure as hell
can't predict what one person wants at the exact moment they open a manual.

What we can do, however, is to ingest the entire body of knowledge available
on a subject, apply our own internal filtering mechanism, and present the
remaining information in a logical and easily navigatable structure so that
the reader can find what they want when they want it.

To do this requires us - the writers - to have the ability to learn new
information, relate it to other information we know, relate it to what we
can reliably expect our readers to know, organize it, communicate it
clearly, and hope for the best. That is, until someone develops a
psi-powered interface that reads the user's mind (if they have one!)

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**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY. or 800-646-9989.

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