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Subject:Re: Figures in User Manuals From:"Bal Simon" <wordmuse -at- earthlink -dot- net> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Mon, 19 Mar 2001 10:32:12 -0800
I am new to the list and look forward to learning a lot from people who clearly have very different, and in some cases, significantly more experience than me. Thanks in advance! What I write here should NOT be taken as advice. I write simply to indicate my take on things and to continue a conversation. If someone finds what I write even remotely useful, I will feel pleasantly surprised... :)
Claire Philpott asked about figures in User Manuals....
Figures in user manuals... Numbered headings... Headings using "A" instead of "1.0" ... No bolds in the doc... No italics in the doc... We don't use these words at this company...
I have gotten instructions like these - and more. Some that seem completely off the wall; others that seem more reasonable.
When I work for a client I come with a definite orientation: to get the client's document out before it is due and under budget - if I can (generally, they don't tell me what the budget for the doc is). I view the document as the client's - not mine. If I want to write a doc that I consider mine, I do so on my own time. Now come the twists - but twists or no, this remains the bottom line.
I view myself as a consultant. Part of my job is to offer advice. Once in awhile I have had clients who don't want advice. In such cases, I accept my role, shut up, and produce the document I have contracted to do. If the client does NOT want someone who wimps out in giving opinions, then I generally speak up. I tell the client how I envision structuring the document. If the clients resists, I push a little ? a little. At this point I can very quickly tell if the client wants a conversation or if I just need to get on with the job at hand. At some point, however, the client WILL make a decision. At that point I ...
I accept my role, shut up, and produce the document I have contracted to do.
IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
CALL FOR PAPERS OPEN UNTIL MARCH 15. http://ieeepcs.org/2001/
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