Re: Usability through Fun

Subject: Re: Usability through Fun
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- gjctech -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 14:31:43 +0100

On Friday, July 21, 2006, John Posada wrote;

> We say over and over that our writing should not use humor as it can
> be misinterpreted and takes the chance of being offensive to those
> who might not see the humor.

Provided you know your audience, I mean *really* know your audience,
why not? The problem with the stuff that most of us produce is that we
don't know our audience much beyond an assumed skill level. We're
writing for a geographically and culturally diverse readership with a
high probability that an innocent quip (where we live) might offend
somewhere else. You have to be careful enough without risking humour
that might not travel well. For example, what a right-pondian calls a
"rubber" is what a left-pondian calls an "eraser" and I understand
that a "rubber" is something entirely different "over there"!

However, in the this case the writers knew their audience because they
were all residents of the same city, which let the authors have a
handle on the cultural idiosyncrasies at play. Those authors are thus
much more likely to "get away with it".

> "No one ever commented about the old report, good or bad, but today
> we get unbelievable amounts of unsolicited feedback from citizens,
> businesses, and peer cities."

> Don't we want that?

Absolutely, yes. If I can evoke a comment from my readers I've either
done a good job or I have some ammunition to help the next revision be
better. Unfortunately, that requires that I can get feedback from my
readers, which all too often isn't going to happen :(



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Usability through Fun: From: John Posada

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