Re: This too is technical communication

Subject: Re: This too is technical communication
From: Chris Borokowski <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 08:51:09 -0700 (PDT)

Documentation is never a selling point.

It is however a primary point of user satisfaction,
which is how brand value is built over time.

For the MBA looking to pump up a stock and ditch it,
technical writing is completely irrelevant.

For someone looking to build a company or product into
a longstanding success, it's essential.

Notice how auto manufacturers sweat the documentation
details on their high-end cars, because that audience
is discriminating enough to buy another one if the
user satisfaction level is high.

You don't seek good technical writing for a product
where the audience is too distracted to appreciate it.
But if you want to build market share, you seek it out

Several software houses, including Adobe, owe some of
their success to (some of...) their documentation.
Ikea made its name for many things, but one is an
escape from the horrible mangled English docs that
came with you-build-it furniture before Ikea. There
are examples plentifully.

For some of us, going into this field was a choice. It
was not and is not our only option. We believe there
is growth here, if it's done right, and if technical
writing can get a realistic grasp of its position in
among the technology professions.

The same thing is true of developers, by the way.
Almost anyone can write code, especially with a few
hours of community college, college, or night school
courses. But people who consistently write good code,
understand projects, and know how to work with a team,
are in high-demand and are sought out by word of mouth
and business card.

The same is true of technical writing, and will
increasingly be in the future. Good documentation can
make the difference between a confused customer losing
ten hours to ambiguity, and a happy one who gets into
the swing of things quickly and makes results happen.

That second type of customer will buy the product
again, will buy the update, and unless driven away by
poor business practices, will be more inclined to buy
any product from that brand/company for which they
have a need.

This is one of the many things I learned working in
advertising, software development, and internet
consulting. Your experience may vary.

--- Kevin Amery <kevindamery -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> Even on professional equipment where documentation
> is important, I
> doubt that the quality of the documentation is the
> deciding factor
> unless everything else is more or less even. Is an
> airline going to
> choose Boeing or Airbus solely on the quality of the
> docs? Probably
> not. (Given what we've read here in the past weeks,
> I'm sure it's a
> factor, but I'm also sure it's not nearly as
> important as performance,
> fuel economy, passenger capacity... oh, and
> price....)

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Re: This too is technical communication: From: Kevin Amery

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