Re: This too is technical communication

Subject: Re: This too is technical communication
From: "Damien Braniff" <Damien -dot- Braniff -at- asg -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 11:08:26 +0100

I have disagree with Raj on the two types of company. I'd see his two
types as the extremes of a continuum with most companies somewhere in
the middle - hopefully towards the upper end.

I'd say (hope!) most try to produce quality documentation but 'quality'
is a moving target. If you look at modes of transport:
Bicycle - reliable, gets you from A-B, cheap. Not best for long
journeys and can be uncomfortable if used for a long time.
Lada (insert own 'cheap and nasty' car type!) - cheap, fairly
reliable, gets you from A-B, better on longer journeys, poor 'cred'
Rolls Royce - expensive, luxurious, gets you from A-B, eats
petrol, high 'show-off' factor...

Each of these could be classed as a quality mode of transport - just
depends on your definition. Ditto with docs where quality is often
defined by the constraints imposed on the product. These can include
budget, time to market, etc. It also has to take into account the user.
Ikea guides were mentioned before. I'm sure I could produce a 'higher
quality' - glossy, colour, precise instructions... It would be
wonderful, high quality but totally unnecessary. When I did QA at
college some years ago one definition stuck in my mind - fit for purpose
and we're back to audience/task analysis!

As for checking the product docs - I've seen some very high quality
'looking' docs that were definitely not fit for purpose and there's
often no real way of knowing until you use them. I've also seen some
terrible looking docs that, on use, were indeed fit for purpose. They
could have been better but they worked - back to an earlier thread of
content vs layout.

Damien Braniff
Sr. Technical Writer
damienb -at- asg -dot- com

Waterfront Plaza
8, Lagan Bank Road
Belfast, N. Ireland BT1 3LR
Tel: +44 (0) 28.9072.3124
Fax: +44 (0) 28.9072.3324



Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: This too is technical communication - long
Next by Author: RE: Employment question
Previous by Thread: RE: This too is technical communication
Next by Thread: RE: This too is technical communication

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads