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The problem is that we technical writers don't get to decide what features
deserve to be incorporated into a product. But to me, documentation that
doesn't explain all of those features is unacceptable. We should be
providing task-based documentation to guide users through the most common
tasks but we should also be providing reference-based documentation that
explains whatever's there to be explained. The better we do at this sort of
stuff, the less often users will feel the need to pick up the phone and call
Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Phone: (262) 694-1028 - Tollfree: (877) 892-1028 - Fax:(262) 697-6334
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 2:21 PM
Subject: Re: Guess what: we suck!
> In my experience it has more often been developers and
> product managers who want big, thick, detailed tomes
> that cover every feature and every possible function of
> the product, to protect them from their own ignorance.
> Having failed to adequately research what their users
> really want from the product, how they will actually be
> using it and what they need to get it to do what it's
> supposed to, they cram in everything but the kitchen
> sink. Then their help lines are buried under a flood of
> calls from users who couldn't care less about "in-depth
> coverage" and just want to know "how do I make it do...?"
> Gene Kim-Eng
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