It's Quick, Its Easy, Its Simple Was: Re: Ikea method of technical writing (graphical instructions)

Subject: It's Quick, Its Easy, Its Simple Was: Re: Ikea method of technical writing (graphical instructions)
From: Richard Lewis <tech44writer -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Susan Hogarth <hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 06:48:19 -0700 (PDT)

When ever I read statements like "It's quick", "It's simple", and, of course, "It's only a [mouse] click away", I cringe. Much to the time it is actually slow-to-learn, complex, and it is only a "click away" provided you have first spent spent umpteen hours properly configuring your computer to match the peculiarities of their software.

Basically, the writers who try such tricks are aware of the natural human tendency to condemn oneself. The know that if they attach "quick, easy, fast, etc" to hard to use stuff that most end-users will say "Hey, it must be me, I must be slow; after all, they told me that it is quick and easy."

Have you ever noticed that often really bad TWing begins like this: "The procedure to do this is simple...." Logic of writing such: Thinking that the end-user will be so condemning themselves for being stupid that they will never realize how badly the instructions are written. Te he he, neat trick - great way to solve a tough usability problem!

Richard Lewis

Susan Hogarth <hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
On 8/1/07, Peter Gold
.....I recall reading about the common
> tendency to blame oneself for one's problems engaging satisfyingly
> with technology. "I must be too dumb to use this," is the common
> example.
> There was some discussion about the psychological roots of this
> self-deprecating behavior, as well as the surrounding clouds of
> societal influences that may provoke or amplify it. All I remember is
> the usual inconclusive conclusions. ...

Yeah, I have that problem with self-deprecation. It's probably the
worst of my many faults.


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Re: Ikea method of technical writing (graphical instructions): From: Susan Hogarth

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