RE: New TECHWR-L Poll Question

Subject: RE: New TECHWR-L Poll Question
From: "Rock, Megan" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 10:32:44 -0400

--- Deborah Ray <debray -at- raycomm -dot- com> wrote:
> Good morning,
> We've updated the TECHWR-L Poll with a new question:
> How often do you, as a tech writer, read instructions or
> documentation for products you use?
> * Always
> * Frequently
> * Occasionally
> * Seldom
> * Never
> * Other/none of the above

I'd have to say it depends on the product. With computer software, I hardly
ever read the manual or look at the online help unless I'm stuck. I prefer
to poke around and try to figure things out myself. I seem to learn and
remember things better that way. On occasion I'll dig into the
documentation to see what functionality I might not be aware of, but I find
the size of most manuals to be intimidating. There's no way I want to take
the time to read a 200-page manual before playing with the software.

On the other hand, if I get a new techie gadget or appliance--something I
can touch and handle--I tend to "look with my hands" to get an idea of what
it might be capable of, but then I turn to the user's guide or manual to
find out what it does that might not be readily apparent to me. I think I
read the user's guide for our digital camera from cover to cover. Unlike
software manuals, though, it was relatively short!

Megan Rock
Technical Writer
FANUC Robotics North America, INC.

Views presented and opinions held are not necessarily those of my friends,
family, or employer.


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