RE: Username or user name (generalized)

Subject: RE: Username or user name (generalized)
From: liss_clark -at- yahoo -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 18:37:35 -0600

Just to throw my 2c into the ring...

At a previous company I worked, we had similar problems with the UI
--spelling errors, inconsistency between industry accepted words and what
was being used in our own UI, inconsistency in our own UI between windows,
etc. Myself and the other technical writer complained and complained
about how shoddy our UI looked. Finally we started filing bugs against
them. We figured, hey, if they are going to file bugs against us for
ommissions or errors in the documentation, then we should get our say

We also made at least ONE ally in the software group, someone who also
cared about the way the UI looked. That person saw the value add that we
brought to the UI (namely fixing spelling errors and telling them what is
the industry preferred terminology and pointing out things they didn't
have time to find themselves or did not care to) through our reviews. So
that person created a "user interface grammar/style review team" of which
the techwriters were primary reviewers/team members.

After that, in going through our documentation, each time we found
something we didn't like or that was inconsistent with other windows and
how it had been done in other areas of our UI, we opened a bug. Going
forward, engineers had to come ask us for our approval on how something
was spelled or written IF it was new or not handled before (if they
weren't sure what to do with it). The sw person also created a "Software
Style Guide" in which everything like this was documented so that sw had
somewhere to turn to discover how to do something.

The tech writers loved being able to give input and that people cared
about the UI. The sw people loved that it was improving and that they
didn't have to spend time reviewing it themselves (just had to close our

My 2c.



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