RE: Kiddie show with tech. writing tie-in

Subject: RE: Kiddie show with tech. writing tie-in
From: Lyn Worthen <Lyn -dot- Worthen -at- caselle -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 10:22:00 -0700

A few years ago (1997), I had the opportunity to write a user guide for an
e-commerce product. The target audience was defined as "the internet
illiterate" and the tone the client wanted for the material was a very
lighthearted, techie-yuppie voice, bordering on sarcasm. I got to use
phrases such as: "If the product you're trying to sell is something only
your mother would buy, [our software] isn't going to be of much use to you.
On the other hand, if everyone on the face of the planet (or at least a
reasonable percentage of them) is going to want it, [our software] can help
you get it to them." The docs ended up being a very successful part of
their marketing strategy.

It was a fun project.
It was also quite challenging, because you had to balance the tone with
enough professionalism to give credibility to the instruction set and not
insult the users.

In several ways, it remains one of my favorite projects in my bibliography.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kathleen Jette
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 10:06 AM

Perhaps it is just a result of being a voracious bookworm or because I'm
gifted/cursed with a bizarre sense of humour, but I've always wanted to make
instructions more fun to read. Outside of the "for Dummies" suite, we don't
often get the opportunity to make our readers laugh. Once and a while I
plant a little gem for my reviewers to find . . . and get rewarded with a
friendly swat for my efforts (gotta see if they're actually checking the
stuff, right?). I guess we'll just have to be satisfied with imagining the
users' smiles when they follow our brilliantly crafted instructions. . .

Kathleen Jette


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