Re: Disadvantages of angle brackets?

Subject: Re: Disadvantages of angle brackets?
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2005 11:40:16 -0500


If you are writing for the totally clueless, a screen capture of the
actual menus next to the "shorthand" of the angle brackets the first
few times will surely get the point across.

Relatively few people are writing for those at this elementary level;
those who are must find a better method than verbosity that can border
on condescension. Just because someone may not have been exposed to
computer documentation before does not mean they must be talked down

Excess words will not substitute for seeing a picture for those who
can be helped by it.

On the other hand, the number of people today who have not used a
computer before is rapidly diminishing.

Sorry, I don't buy the reason that putting everything into
interminable words is the "conservative" approach. In my view, most
people appreciate having to do the least reading necessary for clarity
when what they are trying to do is *not* reading a manual but finding
what they need to accomplish a task.

In task-oriented documentation, I believe we can learn from the
often-discussed/sometimes cussed Information Mapping approach which
separates task steps from discussion. Within the task instructions
themselves, it's "just the facts, Ma'am."



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disadvantages of angle brackets?: From: Tom Johnson
Disadvantages of angle brackets?: From: Geoff Hart

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