Fighting a losing battle

Subject: Fighting a losing battle
From: "Hanlie Pretorius" <hpretorius -at- pnp -dot- co -dot- za>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 10:23:10 +0200

Hi All

For the past 9 months I've been documenting a Java system in development. I
started very enthusiastically, suggesting improvements to screen layouts,
pointing out (to the business analyst) inconsistencies in screen designs,
spelling errors (!) and so forth just to have my ideas squashed by the "we
don't have enough developers to spend on trivial things like that" excuse.
Although it was phrased more diplomatically.

Eventually I stopped spending time on pointing out errors I found but every
time a new screen comes out, I just want to scream with frustration at the
bad design. The usability of these screens is *terrible*.

I can't figure out who here designs these ridiculous screens: the
developers? the business analyst? users? the guys who hang outside the
building to clean the windows?

My question is this: how do you think I should deal with this? I've tried
the positive criticism approach, the laissez-faire approach of accepting it
as part of the imperfections in the universe but none of these prevent me
from looking at my bag and considering the distance to the door every time
one of these hideous monsters enter the world.

Thanks for allowing me to vent to people who might understand.

Hanlie Pretorius

Technical Writer
Pick 'n Pay Information Services
Cape Town, South Africa


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