Re: Not everyone wants to work in UI design (was RE: When you really need to create a screen)

Subject: Re: Not everyone wants to work in UI design (was RE: When you really need to create a screen)
From: "Chuck Martin" <twriter -at- sonic -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 09:36:24 -0800

"Michele Marques" <marquesm -at- autros -dot- com> wrote in message
news:85170 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> "Giordano, Connie" wrote:
> > However, this, and other posts of the day do lead back around
> > to one of my
> > pet concerns: Why do so many tech writers limit themselves to
> > after-the-design content issues?
> Jean Webber suggested that some people can't get involved in UI design,
> because their companies won't let them. Bruce Byfield suggested that some
> people don't want to face the challenge of UI design.

> This may be true, but there are some of us who want to *write*. While some
> people may want to do UI design, that's not true of everyone.
> I've worked as a programmer. While my favourite aspect of programming was
> design, I would still rather be a writer. I'll leave UI design to those
> prefer it.
I'm sorry to be so un-PC and blunt. Chalk it up to Friday. But I'd say that
not wanting to do UI design because all you want to do is write is a cop

If all you want to do is write, then be a copywriter. But if you want to be
a technical writer/communicator, then know that what you are writing about
communicates to users just as much--and far more often--than the prose you
create for a book or online Help.

A large number of programmers can't design their way out of a paper bag.
They write code to meet functional specs, but have no experience in creating
good interaction designs. Worse, technical communicators brought in to the
process after all that bad design is complete are tasked with being nothing
more than writing janitors, cleaning up the UI mess that customers are often
forced to suffer through. That many of us are good at that task doens't mean
we shoul d be happy with the end result.

"[Programmers] cannot successfully be asked to design for users
because...inevitably, they will make judgments based on the
difficulty of coding and not on the user's real needs."
- Alan Cooper
"About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design"

Chuck Martin
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

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