Re: my bad displays habit

Subject: Re: my bad displays habit
From: Suzanne Chiles <suzchiles -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 12:55:57 -0800

I used to think that providing results wasn't important, as long as one
followed the steps. That was up until a month or so ago, when I upgraded my
Verizon FIOS set-top box on our cable system. I thought I had followed the
steps correctly (they send you home with the new box and instructions to do
it yourself; if you can't figure it out, then they'll send someone out). But
it turns out I had not done it correctly. And since the instructions told me
that it could take up to an hour, I spent an hour looking at a vague
message. If I had been told what the TV screen should have said, it could
have saved me a lot of time.

We always assume our readers will read every word we say and perform the
task exactly as we described. I don't think that's fair assumption in the
real world. At least having a step result lets the user know if they're on
the right track or not.


On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 9:06 AM, Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com> wrote:

> Click the *Settings* button. <program name> displays an *Edit Settings*
> dialog box similar to the one shown here.
> [screen capture]
> In spite of the collective received wisdom that my approach is wrong on so
> many levels, I'll continue to use it unless a corporate style guide
> expressly dictates otherwise. I like to make sure the user knows exactly
> what the result of his/her action will be. Yes, this may be tedious for both
> the writer and the reader but I prefer to think the clarity of this approach
> adds enough value to outweigh the tedium.
> Mike
> --

Suzanne Chiles
suzchiles -at- gmail -dot- com
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Re: my bad displays habit: From: Mike Starr

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