RE: huh?

Subject: RE: huh?
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 12:29:38 -0400

There are times when it is not intuitive when something can be done and when
it doesn't do any good.

I'm testing some software with an eye toward purchase. It lists for about
$4,000....yes, I expect better documentation on an application that lists
for 4k rather than 199.00 A user (at least this user) needed to be informed
that a different set of commands where available when I right clicked on the
empty space in an ERD display.

Should a user be instructed on how to right click? No. Should a user be
instructed on WHEN to right click? Yes

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
icq: 178047452
aim: jposada1
"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream
of things that never were, and ask why not?"
-----Robert Francis Kennedy, 1968 presidential campaign

> "Mark Baker" <> wrote in message news:197380 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> >
> > The myth of the ignorant editor and the myth of the ignorant writer are
> > derived from the myth of the ignorant user. I'm not convinced it had
> > even in the days when a high percentage of users were ignorant. But the
> > period in which the ignorant user was the norm has certainly passed.
> I agree. There is absolutely no reason specialized software documentation
> should have basic Windows user-interface instructions. If user's don't
know how
> to right-click, then send them a copy of that video professor. No
> writer at a software firm should be documenting at that low of a level.

Unfortunately, these interfaces tend to be exceedingly
idiosyncratic, as standard rules cannot be enforced. (One
would hope that good user interface practices would be,
but trust me, that's usually a vain and idle hope :-> )
There are interfaces where the fields and menus change names
depending on a previous choice, where buttons change function
sometimes without changing names, installation screens are


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