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

Subject: Re: non-tech techwr better for end users (was "same boat")
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 09:36:51 -0800

Tracy Boyington wrote:
> That's an interesting hypothesis, and one that certainly fits your situation. But it won't work for everyone. For example, my users are nursing students. Unlike your developer/users, they are not going out and developing something they couldn't find elsewhere.

Good point. But, even if the situation isn't literally the same as
mine, my point is really about the perception of end-users.

> And as for "coddling" the users by hiding the complexity... I'm sorry, I don't understand that at all. Leaving out the complexity *that the users don't need* is not "coddling" them, it's meeting their needs. After all, I'm not writing to show off how much I know, I'm writing to produce a product that meets the needs of my customers.

I'm not saying that, as a writer, you should tell everything you
know - and nobody should ever write to show off. Part of writing is
deciding what to include and what to omit.

However, I've seen many writers and coders alike who look down on
users, then make decisions about what to include based on their
condescending perception. I suggest that no writer can have contempt
for the audience and write effectively.

A summary of my previous post might be: Too many people in the
software industry hold the users in contempt. What would happen if
they respected them instead?

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"Rationality itself, tied to moral decency - the most powerful joint
instrument for good that our planet has ever known."
-Stephen J. Gould, Introduction, "Why People Believe Weird Things"

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