Re: Advocating Documentation and Support

Subject: Re: Advocating Documentation and Support
From: Jeff Hanvey <techwriter -at- jewahe -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:25:34 -0800 (PST)

Reading the "Talkbacks" has also been enlightening, especially about the way that programmers and engineers feel about documentation:

One person, for example, says, "None. Caveat Emptor. If you lack the brains to figure it out, don't buy it, or hire someone to do it. Geez."

Another says:

"When you buy a car, does the dealer throw in a week's refresher course on how to use the car's new features?

"When you buy a VCR, does the merchant stop and offer you a free lesson on how to program it?

"When you buy a house, does the seller or the realtor offer to come fix the first 3 problems you encounter for free?"

Another point that was made is that users seldom read the manual: they will call to ask even the simplest things. What does this say about our profession and how can we change this perception?

Jeff Hanvey:


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IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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