Re: Chattiness in manuals
On 10/17/06, Sarah Bouchier <Sarah -dot- Bouchier -at- exony -dot- com> wrote:
How would you react to a manual that said, "The installation of this
component may take several minutes. This would be a good time to go and
get a cup of tea"?
I would think "Start-up" -- the people who make this product or write this manual are spending all of their time at work and have optimized their time so as to run domestic errands and such whenever a lull presents. Of course, I would go get a cup of tea.
Chattiness that I find alarming is a specialized variety that comes with having a subject matter expert write the manual. I don't have the words to describe what is wrong with a manual like that, but I think of it as the author being the context for the information. If you strip out the author's chattiness and personality, you will invariably hear back that you've changing the meaning of what was written. Undo.
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