Re: Writing for Palms and Ebooks

Subject: Re: Writing for Palms and Ebooks
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 16:43:02 -0800

Jon Leer wrote:
> How much demand is there currently for techwriters to write for hand-held
> devices (e.g., Palm and Ebook)? If these are so intuitive, doesn't that
> negate the need for a techwriter to do the documentation or even the
> content?

So far as I'm concerned, "intuitive" is an almost meaningless word
when it comes to computing. If it has any meaning at all, it means
"like what people are used to seeing." For example, from a usability
perspective, the default position for the Windows Start button is
one of the poorest possible - but, after six or seven years, many
people are so used to it that they would call it "intuitive." In
fact, even Linux desktops copy the position.

Given the definition I've suggested, nothing will be intuitive for
someone who lacks prior relevant experience, so the need for
documentation remains.

Besides, there are several tasks associated with hand-held devices
(such as syncing) that, while not hard, are not immediately obvious,

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"It takes dry wood to kindle,
Time for the smoke to start,
Any fool can break a branch
That's greenwood at the heart."
-Oysterband, "On the Edge"


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