Re: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests)

Subject: Re: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests)
From: GeneK <gene -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 12:19:21 -0800


It's my experience polling users that over the past 5 years or so "forced users"
are rapidly becoming the majority, as employers "dumb down" their workforces
by laying off skilled professionals and replacing them with cheaper hourly labor.
And even those users who might have the interest to read the conceptual info are
increasingly under workloads that don't permit them the time (for example, having
to supervise all that cheaper labor). This doesn't necessarily mean that the more
conceptual info isn't called for, but it has resulted in my reordering most of the
documentation I've produced in recent years to provide "___ for dummies" style
instructions in small volumes or on plastic-coated cards that won't panic users who
have 15 minutes to operate an instrument and then have to move on to the other
50 tasks they have to complete before lunch, and moving the deeper material to
separate reference volumes - and increasingly, online files to reduce printing
costs - for info that the Marketing or R&D people decree that "hardly anyone reads."

Gene Kim-Eng
Technical Publications Manager
Half Moon Bay



At 06:54 PM 2/14/2003 -0800, Andrew Plato wrote:

The people who actually read docs (in order) are:

1. Your boss
2. Your co-workers
3. Your competitors
4. Potential customers
5. Other tech writers looking to rip off your styles
6. Forced users
7. The curious
8. The honestly diligent reader



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References:
Re: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests): From: Andrew Plato

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