Re: teaching technical writing to engineers

Subject: Re: teaching technical writing to engineers
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 12:34:47 -0500


If you have time, try a paper prototyping session. Basically, you design a simple application, then you draw each screen on separate pieces of paper. Designate one (or more) people as users, and another person as the computer. Nobody is allowed to talk. When the user pushes the right button/menu on the paper screen, the computer has to produce the correct action. Very soon you will figure out you didn't draw enough screens, or didn't draw the right controls on them, or didn't label them appropriately. See http://www.uie.com/articles/paper_prototyping

I attended one of Jared Spool's workshops a while ago, and brought an engineer with me. His eyes were really opened by the paper prototyping exercise. He discussed it with the whole development department, and after that everybody had a smidgen more empathy with the tach writer.

Mike O.

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