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I think that there are several solutions, but the main point is to:
* know thy audience
* know whether learning the jargon term might help your audience better
(e.g., when dealing further with the issue, calling tech support, etc.)
For example, if most of your audience isn't setting up the network for the
product (i.e., it's already set up for them and by other people), maybe you
don't need to include the term DHCP in the main flow. On the other hand, if
this is a networking product or the computer is likely not already on the
networking, DHCP may be a relevant term in the main flow.
Note that in both cases, there may be additional exposition included in a
glossary or appendix. In the case where your audience doesn't need to know
about DHCP, you might include a network trouble-shooting appendix that
includes an explanation of DHCP.
In the case where your audience needs to know about DHCP, you might include
a glossary of jargon terms that explains it. If you think your audience
might not know what DHCP is, you might even explain it in the main flow, the
first time you mention it. If most of your audience should be familiar with
the term, then just you might choose to just include it in the glossary.
If you have different audiences with different levels of literacy, you might
include multiple sections to the glossary. For example, one section of our
audience includes many people who have never used Windows before. In the
glossary, I have two sections: one labeled "Windows Terminology" and the
other labeled "AUTROS Terminology". Another approach is to include a
separate section at the start that is labeled an "introduction to" or
"overview of" whatever concepts part of your audience needs - the other
people will just skip over that section.
Michele Marques, Technical Communicator
AUTROS Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
marquesm -at- autros -dot- com <mailto:marquesm -at- autros -dot- com>
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