Re: Interesting article

Subject: Re: Interesting article
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 11:35:27 -0700

"Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com> wrote in message
news:208736 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> Complete article at
> Looks like we are not doing as good a job as we want to. And consumers are
> complaining. Good ammunition for those of us who need to convince our
> clients/boss that it is important the help - and by extension the manual -
> need to be useful and not a second thought.
One quote stood out:

"I'm unaware of any company that would shortchange the customer in their
speed to get the software to market," said Jonathan Thompson, vice president
of the Washington-based trade group [Software and Information Industry
Association ], which has more than 650 members.

I am reminded of the tobacco companies who stood in front of a Congressional
committee and swore under oath that they did not believe nicotine is
addictive. I have been working in this industry for more than 10 years, and
while some CEOs and Product Managers pay lip service to putting customers
first, the reality almost always is getting a release out by a specific
date, whether all bugs--including usability bugs--are fixed or not (except
so-called show stoppers).

Alan Cooper explains it well in his book "The Inmates are Running the
Asylum." The fault is not is us, at least those o us well qualified to
design and produce high-quality documentation. The fault is in the
leadership that makes deceisions that undercut out ability to do a good job.
We're left with doing a job that's as good as we can do, usually with
limited constrants and limited resources. And considering that, many, if not
most of us do a pretty damn good job.

Chuck Martin

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