Fw: ISO 26514 draft ready for comment [long]

Subject: Fw: ISO 26514 draft ready for comment [long]
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 13:32:09 -0400


[NOTE: Peter Sturgeon posted the forwarded message below (originally posted to stcqsig-l) on 20 July. George Hayhoe informs me that the comment period closes 8 September. I am including the entire original post from Peter for the benefit of anyone who may have missed it.]

I spent several hours reviewing and commenting on the draft, and I
recommend that anyone involved in creating user documentation for
software products do the same. The standard, once adopted, will be the
controlling document referenced in any standards-based software
development contracted for in the future and so it affects a great many
people on this list.

My recollection is that when the standard was first proposed there was
discussion of its scope. What I recall from that discussion is that the
standard would not delve into prescribing specific design features for
documents but would concentrate instead on functional requirements for
documents. It turns out, though, that as the draft standard has evolved
it now includes a number of specific design solutions, either as
requirements or suggested best practices.

My strong feeling is that this is not in keeping with what a standard
ought to do. There is no good reason to impose a particular design
solution--one that may be suboptimal for a variety of reasons--on future
document designers, necessitating a change in the standard each time an
innovative improvement is discovered. Instead, a standard should specify
the performance characteristics of documents under different
circumstances--criteria of usability and effectiveness and ways to
measure the document against those criteria. The draft standard does
this as well, but then it goes on, as I said, to prescribe particular
design solutions.

Anyone who is interested in the way documents are designed for existing
and potential future media environments should carefully read the draft
standard and forward comments to George using the method requested in
the forwarded post below.

Thanks for your attention,

Dick Margulis

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Ann L. Wiley Consultants Inc. <ann -at- annlwiley -dot- com>
To: STC Quality and Process Improvement SIG Discussion List
<stcqsig-l -at- lists -dot- stc -dot- org>
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:48:16 AM
Subject: [stcqsig-l] ISO 26514 draft ready for comment

George Hayhoe has posted this today, and allowed me to post it here:

A draft of ISO 26514: User Documentation Requirements for Documentation
Designers and Developers is now ready for comment prior to balloting by
national delegations. Comments will be made available to the US and
delegations to assist them in developing their official response to the

The draft standard and comments template may be downloaded from


All comments must use this template; no markups should be made in the
document itself. Comments without suggested revisions that would make the
text acceptable will be ignored.

Please note that the layout and format of the document follows ISO
requirements and cannot be changed.

You should observe the use restrictions on the title page of this
copyrighted document. It is provided for review purposes only, not as a
final standard.

When you complete your review, please rename the template file
Comments_Template_YourLastName.xls, and send it as an e-mail attachment to
george -at- ghayhoe -dot- com -dot-
Thanks for your help with this project of the STC Standards Council.


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