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Dick Margulis wrote:
What the doc team learned through this validation testing was that they
had to include drawings, complete with hands and directional arrows, to
instruct people in (a) which direction to turn a lightbulb to remove it;
(b) which direction to turn a lightbulb to replace it; (c) which
direction to turn a screwdriver to remove a screw; (d) which direction
to turn a screwdriver to replace a screw. Needless to say, the doc
project grew way beyond what anyone had estimated. My point, though, is
that while _you_ may conclude that "the rest are candidates for
additional education of some sort," your _customer_ may come to a
different conclusion altogether.
in response to wswallow writing:
So, again, properly define your terminology up front, and use it
consistently. Most will get it, and the rest are candidates for
additional education of some form.
Doesn't changing a lightbulb and using a screwdriver fall into the category of things that the user should already know and that the manual should not have to cover? I mean, if you buy a word processing application, it doesn't include instruction on taking your computer out of its box, putting it together, turning it on, setting up your monitor,
or changing your printer cartridge, does it? All of those are central to actually using the application effectively (even the printer one).
Besides, the analogy/example doesn't address the issue, or wswallow's point. A more accurate analogy would be, in those manuals, calling a lightbulb something else (like kind-of-round-light-sender-outer-made-from-glass-and-metal thingie or "korlsomfgam" for short) in order to avoid confusing those people who don't know what a lightbulb is. :-)
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