Re: Doc Design and Convention ( was TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 48, Issue 27)

Subject: Re: Doc Design and Convention ( was TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 48, Issue 27)
From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 04 Nov 2009 23:12:57 +1100

Keith Hood wrote:
> It's like this: you're saying what information do they need about the thing? I'm more saying, what do they need to do with the thing? I think it's a matter of me thinking more in terms of giving directives. I formed the impression you think about telling the user this is what you can do, and I tend to think of telling the user this is what you should do.
>
> My remark about marketing meant, it seemed to me your thinking about the users was more closely related than mine to the way in which a marketing person would think about the users. Your second question was, "For what purposes are they buying and using the product?" That's broader in scope than the kind of questions I ask, and seemed to indicate thinking about how the users see the item fitting into their business. That way of considering user concerns about the item isn't related strictly to the technical aspects of the item. When I think about why users may want the item, I tend to consider it more as a matter of tool use.
>

Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. Actually, I don't
think I'd pick either what they "can" or "should"
do here. I'm more on the side of saying "The user
bought this for a reason. They want to do something
with the product." When I say that, I don't mean
how the product fits in their business. I mean, they
actually are going to sit down and use the product.
What are they going to be doing when they use it?
What instructions and information should we be giving
them so when they do whatever it is they're going to
do with the product, they'll be successful and we'll
provide answers to the questions they have while
using it?

I don't think those are Marketing questions; I think
they're questions that we need to be able to answer
when writing the docs so we provide accurate, useful,
and usable documentation.

-- Janice


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Re: Doc Design and Convention ( was TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 48, Issue 27): From: Keith Hood

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