Re: More on Tech Writing Tests

Subject: Re: More on Tech Writing Tests
From: Eugene Kim-Eng <gene -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 13:57:54 -0800


I would *never* hire someone who whose "answer" to "how to make a PBJ"
in online help was like that. This is the sort of extraneous, usertime-wasting
fluff that I've spent years working on writers to cut *out* of technical instructions,
because it results in voluminous tomes that users leave on their shelves unread
while they tie up the phone lines to Tech Support looking for someone who ends
up reading them the numbered steps and causes upper management to regard
technical writers as time and money-wasters who rise to the tops of their layoff
candidate lists.

Gene Kim-Eng
Technical Publications Manager
Half Moon Bay, CA.


At 03:08 PM 2/11/2003 -0500, Laurie Kittle wrote:

The group-voted all-time winner? A nearly-green fledgling tech writer who
chose as her audience visitors to the US from another English-speaking
country:
She began the topic with an explanation of sandwich ingredients, discussed
the kinds of bread that are often used and how they differ, mentioned the
cultural importance of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in growing up in
America. Then she provided a well constructed step-by-step procedure with an
action/result in each step, including the final steps of putting it on a
plate, cutting in half, and serving.



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