DFDs Are Great! Was Re: DFD BFD

Subject: DFDs Are Great! Was Re: DFD BFD
From: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 16:24:58 -0800 (PST)

--- Chuck Martin <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com> wrote:

Reaching back a bit.....

Tony Markos wrote:
As I have posted several times: The major thing that a
TW is to do is come up with a detailed, comprehensive
understanding of the essential end-user tasks, and how
all those tasks interrelate - with special emphasis
placed on understanding the interrelationships.

Chuck Martin next comments:

Understanding end-user tasks is a straw man. What
technical writers (and interaction designers) require
is an understanding of users' goals.

Tony Markos:

The only thing I know about straw men is the guy in
the Wizard Of Oz movie. Someone else on this listserv
accused me of creating a straw man; what the heck is a
straw man?

Actually, I used to use "goal" instead of "task" with
my above statement, but I changed it because because I
thought it made the statement more understandable to
many. (Goal is more of an abstract term; many people
on this listserv have real problems with abstraction.)


Task, goal, function, process, or activity - they can
all refer the same thing. For example "Plan for
Retirement" can be, depending upon your preference, a
task, goal, process, function, or activity. This is
simply a matter of "different strokes for different
folks" - thats all.

Tony Markos:

>From the Gospel according to Ed Yourdon [insert clap
of thunder here]: "ONLY by following the flow of data
[in task analysis] can we come up with an
understanding [and therefore be able to explain to
others] the underlying logic of a system".

Chuck Martin:

Why do users have to understand the logic of a system.

Tony Markos:

It very well might be that the users don't need to
understand the underlying logic of the system. But,
the TW has to have a comprehensive understanding of
the underlying logic of the system in order to
properly orgainze his/her thoughts, in order to give
the user whatever he/she needs in a user-friendly

Chuck Martin:

Users are people, and people are not logical. So then
the question is: why hasn't the system been designed
to accommodate the user, rather than forcing the
user to accommodate to the system.

Tony Markos:

Good point! And, in the main, user-friendly systems
are systems that don't require that the user jump
around to do essential tasks. These are systems
designed to tightly defined modules. And prerequiste
to tight design modules are tight analysis modules -
that can only come from Data Flow Diagrams.

Chuck Martin:

Users do *not* care about how systems work. Only
engineers and others with a stake in producing systems
care how they work.

Tony Markos:

This is been my experience with users also. However,
there are those on this Listserv that have told me, in
no uncertain terms, that users like to learn all about
the "hows". My opinion: Either some users need to
"get a life", or some TWs are smoking something funny
(in making such a comment).

Chuck Martin:

This [users not caring about how systems work]is a
fundamental concept lost by too many people producing
systems, especially those preaching process.

Tony Markos:

The people on this listserv who have told me that the
user care alot about "how" the system works are, if I
remember correctly, all anti-process types.

Good process - minimal but essential - is critical to
user friendly documentation.

Tony Markos
Focused On The Essential Like A Laser

Do you Yahoo!?
Meet the all-new My Yahoo! - Try it today!



RoboHelp X5 is a giant leap forward in Help authoring technology, featuring all new Word 2003 support, Content Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more! View an online demo: http://www.macromedia.com/go/techwrldemo

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Kovitz's "Practical Software Requirements" Was Re: expanding our range
Next by Author: Re: Kovitz's "Practical Software Requirements" Was Re: expanding our range
Previous by Thread: Re: DFD BFD
Next by Thread: Re: DFDs Are Great! Was Re: DFD BFD

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads