Re: Doc Design and Conventions

Subject: Re: Doc Design and Conventions
From: "Janoff, Steve" <Steve -dot- Janoff2 -at- Teradata -dot- com>
To: "John Garison" <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 21:47:43 -0500


What did you have to start with in this case? Just a product and a goal? Were there any engineering specs? Were there any design meetings?

You're saying the software had not been designed at all yet?

In other words, what kind of information did they give you as a starting point, and what kind of instruction were you given as to how to proceed, or did they just say, "Just write it the way you see it, and we'll develop it that way"?

I think it'd be interesting to hear how this project played out.



PS - Congratulations on having the good fortune to have that kind of experience! And that kind of trust from the person in charge.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Garison [mailto:john -at- garisons -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 8:33 PM
To: Janoff, Steve
Cc: Chris Despopoulos; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 48, Issue 25

I have had the opportunity to write a manual that the programmers were told to use as their guide to what the software should do and how it should operate. It didn't happen all that neatly, nor necessarily at the beginning of the project, but it ended well.

My 2¢,


Janoff, Steve said the following on 10/29/2009 9:44 PM:
> H
> PS - I forget where I read it but Donald Norman once suggested that
> the user manual be written before the product was even designed.
> That's almost like screenwriting. A heck of an idea! On the other
> hand, you're limited to the writer's vision of how something should be
> used, which could be constrained by what he/she is already familiar
> with in the world. I mean, could a writer have written the iPod user
> manual before the thing was developed? I doubt it, unless that writer
> was incredibly visionary.

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