RE: Incremental find?

Subject: RE: Incremental find?
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>, <arroxaneullman -at- aol -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 14:24:09 -0600

Andrew Warren replied:

> > Wikipedia says the proper term is "incremental find." .... what's
> > the best term to use? The one that is descriptive but wordy and
> > informal, or the term that is technical but unclear?
>
> I can't imagine an audience for whom "technical" (whatever that
> means) would trump "descriptive and clear". I mean, what if
> you could find another term that was even MORE technical, but
> which not a single one of your readers would understand? Would
> you consider using that term?

Amen! Bravo! Huzzah!

> If you use "incremental find", you'll have to explain what it
> means... And your explanation will probably include the phrase
> "find as you type". Why not just call it "find-as-you-type"
> and be done?

Arroxane rebutted:

> As for technical versus explanatory terms, if you had never seen a
toilet
> and I decided to call it "flush-bodily-waste-out-a-pipe device" you
might
> understand the idea, but it's name is still "toilet." In other words,
the
> commonly accepted name is more important than a descriptive name.

Well, knowing what to call that device is awfully handy in everyday
life. That's a valid analogy if your readers need to learn the term
because they'll be using it regularly. For instance, if you're writing
for programmers or user interface professionals, you'd want to use the
technical term, just as you'd distinguish between drop-down, edit, and
combo boxes.

But if you're telling ordinary users how to perform a task that includes
using the search function, they don't need to learn the term (and
probably couldn't care less). A clear description of what to expect is
the _most_ they need: "As you type, the system finds widgets that match
what you enter."

They may not even need that, if they're reasonably comfortable using
computers. They'll discover -- and understand -- the "find-as-you-type"
feature as soon as they start to type. It's a good idea to let users
learn some things on their own and encourage "discovery" (in situations
where no harm can come from it).

IMHO, of course. :-)

Richard


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-777-0436
------






^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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.
http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

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

---
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 http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


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
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.


References:
RE: Incremental find?: From: Andrew Warren

Previous by Author: RE: InDesign woes
Next by Author: RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit
Previous by Thread: Re: Incremental find?
Next by Thread: RE: Incremental find?


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

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads