Re: Don't believe the offshore hype?

Subject: Re: Don't believe the offshore hype?
From: "jean" <jean -at- jeanweber -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 15:07:16 +1000

Chuck Martin wrote,

>...but good writing skills do not equate to good technical writing skills.
>The English in the document is quite good. As a usable User Guide,
>however, the document is atrocious.
>It doesn't help that the application design mimics the functional
>specifications. However, the User Guide that I inherited has the
>following characteristics:
>- A section for each role a user can log in as.
>- A chapter for each area of the user interface.
>- Each heading in a chapter contains a description of one page:
>a screen capture, a table listing all the fields and too-brief
>descriptions of the field contents, and a bulleted list of some
>of the tasks that can be done on the page.

I've seen a lot of those written by so-called "technical writers" ... usually
(but by no means always) people from a programming background. "Task oriented"
either was a foreign (sorry, couldn't resist) concept to them, or they thought
that function-oriented is the way user manuals (and online help) _should_ be
written. I could almost forgive the latter from clients who clearly had no clue
what user-centered techwriting is about, but not from the writers themselves.

Regards, Jean
Jean Hollis Weber
jean -at- jeanweber -dot- com
The Technical Editors' Eyrie


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