RE: New TECHWR-L Poll Question

Subject: RE: New TECHWR-L Poll Question
From: Doug Van Dorn <dvandorn -at- gearworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 09:39:43 -0500

I'm not only a tech writer, I'm a software usability testing engineer. I
need to put myself in the position of the more average user when approaching
new software. So I've gotten into the habit of opening the box, using the
product, and *then* looking up answers to questions I can't answer through

Of course, nothing is ever black and white. If there is obviously a danger
of either ruining the product or harming myself by using something without
at least a quick glance over the instructions, I use common sense and read
up on the pitfalls before I go blundering my way through... but, in general,
I only rarely read the manuals before I begin. The complexity of the
design, my familiarity with the product function, and the intuitive nature
(or lack thereof) of the product determine how much I read the manual
*after* I get started.

Doug Van Dorn
Gearworks, Inc.
Eagan, MN


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