Re: How do you handle knowing "It Could Be Better"?

Subject: Re: How do you handle knowing "It Could Be Better"?
From: Steven Brown <stevenabrown -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 05:39:03 -0700 (PDT)


Consider, if the application is truly obscure as you
suggest, its new users will need the most help in
becoming familiar with it. Once they acquire some
degree of mastery, they'll learn on their own, consult
colleagues, and post questions to forums and
listservs. Isn't that what we tech writers do?
Consider FrameMaker. Most of us haven't used Adobe's
online help for years (never mind that it's poorly
written). Instead, we refer to other resources to
answer our questions or to acquire advanced

And since you're in New York, here's a local
connection/analogy. Just last night, the local news
did a segment about the poor communication and
cooperation between the NYPD and FDNY during the
events of 9/11. Over the last year, many city agencies
and departments have been documenting new procedures
for working together in the event of a city-wide
emergency. But the police commissioner was smart to
point out that they can't possibly document
everything, that there's a degree of expected
cooperation that's expected during an actual event.

I think the same can be said of what we do. We COULD
document everything, but there's a point where you
say, enough's enough, and you let your readers be the
professionals they are, learning on-the-job and
applying that knowledge on-the-fly.

Steven Brown
Senior Technical Writer

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