RE: Clearing the check marks

Subject: RE: Clearing the check marks
From: "Boudreaux, M (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>
To: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2008 12:12:10 -0400

> "What kind of work do you do?"
> "Oh, I select boxes."

In this case, you're wrong.

>But please get rid of all that selecting of boxes.
>Make your writing task-oriented.
>Make it subject-matter-oriented.
>Make it real-world oriented.

It's a series of tests. For each step, there's a box which says, in
effect (in various forms of engineer-speak, which is one issue I'm
trying to fix), "Are all the checkboxes on this page cleared? Circle YES
or NO."

This is NOT a "real world task" document. It's not even a testing
document, per se, but a document to test whether the more fleshed out
tests that are run in the field actually verify the cause of an error.
It involves a lot of detaching parts, clicking boxes, unplugging cables,
pressing buttons, attaching the parts again, plugging in the cables, and
recording results for every step.

I have to maintain a step instructing the users to do Task A, and then
to note that they have done Task A.

Even if Task A is boring, isn't task oriented, isn't real-world
oriented, and makes me drool.

I'm assured that, due to the large amounts of potentially dangerous
energy being used in these machines, some early i-dotting and t-crossing
and yes, box-checking, may mean the difference between whether a patient
comes out of surgery okay. Is that real-world enough for me? Yep.

>It is ludicrous to attribute "needs" to checkboxes on a form.

The government auditing agency disagrees, but thanks for your 2 cents.

- Madelyn

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Re: Clearing the check marks: From: Michael West

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