Fwd: If you had 15 minutes...

Subject: Fwd: If you had 15 minutes...
From: cjcbrown -at- comcast -dot- net
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 15:23:14 +0000 (UTC)




Sorry I'm late coming into this...



So many possibilities -



One is, hero stories where the customer-facing docs "saved the day" or brought a big win.

I have one where the writer analyzed reader comment cards (of all things), surfaced both a book design and product design issue,

and addressing those, saved $700,000 in printing costs the first year and triggered a redesign of the product, reducing support costs and increasing the product's net profit. Another when the trainer and writerÂtook feedback from training classes into an online help suggestion that became one of the product's most valued features. Another when the quality of the documentation overall was cited as the cause of buying the product.



Another is, use cases and user task profiles. In my area the designers don't have a lot of "usage data" because all they get is "feature data" from the requirements. When they understand the user's context and task needs it is greatly welcomed.



Another is, an overview of how people read or get their tech answers today. Does the team realize that uses prefer to look first at the UI to see if fields are obvious, then ask a friend, then maybe look up help, and that knowledge bases and PDFs are way down the list? Do they realize that for the population under 35, "sustained reading" is rare, thus information needs to be delivered differently, and how is that? Do they know that people give up after 2 failed searches for an answer in a help system or knowledge base? Do they know how writing needs to be done for very fast reading? We are all familiar with the phenomenon that it's easier to get answers on how to do things in Word, for example, by googling the question, than it is to look it up in Word help. Is there a parallel to that in our customer docs?



Another is, the spiral model of information development that spans releases. The longer a product is in the field, the more rich the customer-facing information can be, if feedback loops are set up. This is related to big wins in selling the product and keeping it profitable.



Connie


----- Original Message -----
From: "Viv Crawford" <viv_crawford -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 3:04:02 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: RE: If you had 15 minutes...


Thanks everyone on- and off-list for your suggestions.

Â

I don't want to do anything grammar or English related. Anyone who writes anything is competent already. And I am already the person that puts the words on the UI.

I don't want to sell 'User doc' as the (customer-facing) people who hired me already know User doc is required. The others will never be convinced.

Â

(I didn't tell you this up front to try and avoid prejudicing any responses!)

Â

I might try something around the 'I am an interpreter' vein. I translate 'expertese' from my experts into 'userese'. Hopefully, it will demonstrate a value-added activity whilst allowing flattering of egos :)

Â

If you've got other ideas though, I'd still like to hear them. I have to do this every few weeks...

Â

Thanks!
Â
> From: viv_crawford -at- hotmail -dot- com
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: If you had 15 minutes...
> Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 11:32:19 +0100
>
>
> to present something to your entire company, what would you present?
>
>
>
> Every morning, one of us presents a 'something'. Often developers do show and tells of whatever they've developed recently, or tools or technologies they are investigating or implementing. Managers and account managers will update us on how various opportunities are progressing. The admin people will periodically update us on the procedures we should be following.
>
>
>
> Normally, when I present, because I'm fairly new in post, I'm able to preset a new thing. First time, I showed the tool I was intending to buy. Next time round I showed some prototype output I'd made with said tool. The next time I used this slot to get developer buy-in and feedback on how I was intending to refer to various UI elements (hemidemisemisubtabs etc...) in the forthcoming manual.
>
>
>
> I'm due to present again next week and am wondering, if you could talk to your entire company for 15 to 20 minutes about anything at all, what would you tell 'em?
>
>
>
> Would love to hear,
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
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