Re: levels of detail -- are we beyond this?

Subject: Re: levels of detail -- are we beyond this?
From: Evelyn Lee Barney <evbarney -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "Butler, Darren J CTR USAF AFMC 584 CBSS/GBHAC" <Darren -dot- Butler -dot- ctr -at- Robins -dot- af -dot- mil>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 16:47:23 -0400

Yes, and cake mixes tell you to open the plastic bag and pour the mix
into a bowl before proceeding.

That said, I don't think we can ever really know (depending, maybe, on
our audience) what is a common-knowledge detail to them, and what is
not. My personal frustration with software documentation for aps that
are new to me is when they say something like: "If you'd like to perform
X function, just use the Y-enator while holding down cntr." No screen
shot, no tip as to where to find the Y-enator, let alone what it's
primary function is (and you'd assume it has a primary function that
isn't X, since it's a Y-enator, not an X-enator.) I'm particularly
delighted with this type of instruction when it turns out that the
Y-enator is in a sub-sub-sub menu of a main menu that otherwise I never
use - so know nothing about, and takes me an hour to find.

Anyway - if asked as a reader of docs what one wish I had - I'd say
"whatever you want me to know about, tell me :::where::: it is
:::first:::. Almost everything else I can figure out on my own. If given
a second wish, I'd say "if your software does not do something the
average person would likely expect it to do (my favorite example is that
Cool Edit Pro - at least my edition - is a sound editor with no volume
control. You have to control the play-back volume from your computer
media task bar, or your speakers) then say so, up front. Then there is
FrameMaker with no print preview - but now I'm babbling.


Butler, Darren J CTR USAF AFMC 584 CBSS/GBHAC wrote:
>>> Is it me, or is this kind of detail totally unnecessary in this day and age?<<
> You--would--be-shocked!! ≡8^@
> If they STILL put instructions on some shampoo bottles………
> Instructions:
> 1. Wet hair thoroughly with warm water
> 2. Apply a generous amount of Mr. Andre’s SuperModel-Strength, Anti-Sludge Shampoo (with kumquat & alfalfa extracts)
> 3. Gently Wash hair
> 4. Rinse
> 5. Repeat
> PLUS, they also include a phone number to call if you have any questions!


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levels of detail -- are we beyond this?: From: Tom Johnson
RE: levels of detail -- are we beyond this?: From: Butler, Darren J CTR USAF AFMC 584 CBSS/GBHAC

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