Re: Don Norman on Manual Writing

Subject: Re: Don Norman on Manual Writing
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 14:07:14 -0500

My experience has been that design IS a discovery process. Unwanted discoveries, sometimes, but always discovery as the design moves from imagination to concrete form. BAs and RAs/SAs HAD to be involved in the design to adjust that design as necessary to meet the requirements. Design is the process of implementing the specifications that come out of requirements analysis. Each phase is a discovery and learning process, especially if you're working on something new. Techwriters, as specialists in communication, also need to be involved in both phases so that the thoughts, ideas, plans, and visions can be brought out of people's heads into a more universally understood form.

Tony Markos wrote:

Analysis is a discovery process; design is not.
Business Analysts and Requirements Analysts are a
couple of examples of people who do analysis - but not
design. In the organizations that I have worked in,
BAs and RAs were not part of the design group.
Much more important than missed/dropped details in
transfer from analyis to design is the problem of
short-circuited analysis, which inevitably happens
when (true) analysts are under the same management as
the design folks.
Tony Markos

Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416.491.5050 x3133


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Re: Don Norman on Manual Writing: From: Tony Markos

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