RE: What I want to say....

Subject: RE: What I want to say....
From: "John Posada" <JPosada -at- isogon -dot- com>
To: "T. Word Smith" <techwordsmith -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 13:52:52 -0500

>Good point, I see where you are coming from, maybe
>we have a similar viewpoint ...
>If they say, "you're wrong and here's why I think
>so," and open a discussion and there is a willingness
>to listen and respect on both sides, then all is well.
>I can be wrong, but I do have opinions based on
>education, experience, and training in my profession
>... so a discussion is good.
>If they say, "you're wrong because I'm a supervisor,
>suck it up" then they earn my contempt.

Right. Last night, I was given the UI specs for a new application being
developed. Part of it was a mockup of screens. Since I'm going to be
doing the help, I noticed that the screens were missing a HELP button,
so I talked to the guy, who sits across the hallway.

I should first establish that about a week ago, he had a problem where
he modified a 120 page document on his home PC, but when he came in a
opened it on another version of Word (have I said how much I hate...oh,
never mind), the revision markups had gone THIAHB. I worked with him for
about an hour and rescued him.

So, I go in and say "Where are the Help buttons?", and we talked for
about 30 minutes.

About an hour later, I get the following response:

You raised a good point about providing explicit help, so I went back
and reviewed the Microsoft Design Guidelines, which are referenced at
the end of my document. Isogon's standards dictate that we follow these
as closely as possible.

Here's a link to the two relevant sections:


In my next revision of the document (there's always another revision
coming, with these types of documents <g>) I'll be more specific about
support for What's This help and F1. Nevertheless, there are
less-frequently accessed dialog boxes (particularly for administrative
functions that are accessed by Phillipa) that may benefit from the
addition of a Help button. I'll keep this in mind as PE begins producing
specific screen designs.

I've been here going on three weeks..him, almost 4 years. He could have
told me that they've been working on the design for x period of time, so
screw, but instead, he listened then made a decision. That's all I can
ask for.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
Isogon Corporation

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