Re: "Transparent to the User"

Subject: Re: "Transparent to the User"
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 09 Apr 2005 01:18:39 -0400


Maybe "invisible" would have been a better term. The two words
are apparently often confused with one another.

In a former incarnation I worked at the Boston Museum of Science,
which has a famous Transparent Woman. She's made of plastic, and
her various gizzards illuminate automatically as she plays a tape recording describing what one sees. Museum staff report an
amusing conversation at the front desk: "Where can I see the
Invisible Woman?" "She's invisible. You can't see her." Another
request was for the location of the Transparent Ladies' room.

Lou Quillio wrote:

news.sunflower.com wrote:


It seemed to me the OP was describing system documentation. I would not use
'transparent to the user' in user docs, either. But in shops I've been in,
it is commonly used by technology groups to describe systems/processes of
which the user will not be aware.


Agree. It's a useful shorthand for the intended audience. "Transparent to the user" is an addendum, not the main event. Something happens [insert excruciating detail]; the user isn't specifically advised because there's no point.

It's a disambiguating term, not a confession. It means that in the overarching UI, it's intended that the user not ponder the 'transparent' action.

Not suitable for anything user-facing, eminently useful for making clear there's no hook into the UI.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: "Transparent to the User": From: Bill Swallow
Re: "Transparent to the User": From: Lou Quillio

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