RE: Mac vs PC users

Subject: RE: Mac vs PC users
From: "Martinek, Carla" <CMartinek -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 10:46:52 -0500

If you know your audience has mixed levels of users, or you simply don't know the experience level at all, write your documentation so that it works for multiple levels of users. Experienced users can use just 1, 2, and 3 and ignore the substeps, while users needing more depth can use the sub-steps a,b, and c.

1. Save the file in your XYZ directory.
a. From the File menu, select Save.
b. Click the Browse button and location the XYZ directory.
c. Click OK.

2. Print the file.
a. From the File menu, select Print.
b. etc...
c. etc...

-Carla


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+cmartinek=zebra -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+cmartinek=zebra -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Deborah Hemstreet
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 10:22 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Mac vs PC users

I once had a supervisor get angry with my writing. She complained that any idiot off the street could install our hi-tech medical systems because of my instructions. I thought that was good.

She made me take out a lot of "basic" stuff. Two years later the new Service and Support manager complained that my instructions were not complete enough. That he had "idiots" in the field... and they needed to be nursed through everything.

I suppose, and perhaps I'm wrong, but if I'm writing online Help and the procedure is about Saving a File, To save a file 1. On the File menu... The save dialog box appears...
2. In the Save dialog box...

I SUPPOSE I could leave all that out. BUT assuming (bad word, my mom used to say ass=u+me=assume) that someone is looking up how to save a file, the instructions should be complete. I don't think I need to say it over and over... but IF this is HELP, then the information should be there for the beginner as well as for the advanced user.

My problem, is there is a lot of stuff that everyone keeps telling me, MAC users know how to use it. I ask, but what about people who are new to MAC. And I am told, "It is all so intuitive". Then why, if it is all so intuitive, am I translating 900 pages of a documentation to online HELP?

From my perspective, it is terribly confusing to have up to 4-key combinations for keyboard shortcuts, AND to have as many as three or four different ways to do the same thing.

I am writing so many instructions about those FOUR methods it's driving me nuts! As a user, I get confused when there are too many ways to do the same thing. I asked what the preferred method was, and answer:
"Everyone is different, we know x is not done much, but someone might complain if we take it out, and we put y in because someone else complained, and of course we have to have Z because that is the MAC way of doing it..."

I will survive... I know its Tuesday but feels like Monday!

Thanks!

Deborah

On 07/06/2010 11:06 AM, Tim Murray wrote:
>> Are there any studies out there that anyone knows of that compare how MAC users interact with computers compared to PC users?
>>
>> Are MAC users quicker learners?
>>
>> I"m writing some Help for a MAC application, and a lot of the feedback I get is, EVERYONE knows this - you don't have to explain it (such as what happens when I click File> Save, or what an Action button is, etc.
> The issues are the same, it's just that the actions to perform a task
> seem to be easier to grasp on a Mac than in Windows. (And it's Mac,
> not MAC. Mac is an abbreviation, not an acronym or initialism.)
>
> In other words, if someone doesn't know anything about the concept of saving files, then they'll need more information. But unless you're writing about their very first app, I'd say just "save the file."
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Gain access to everything you need to create and publish information
> through multiple channels. Your choice of authoring (and import)
> formats with virtually any output. Try Doc-To-Help free for 30-days.
> http://www.doctohelp.com/
>
>
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> or visit
> http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/dvora%40tech-challe
> nged.com
>
>
> To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.
>
> Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
> http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat
>
>


--



------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Deborah E-Shapiro Hemstreet*
*Technical Communication Specialist and Consultant*
*14075 Ironwood Drive*
*Grand Rapids, MI 49534*
*Mobile: +1 616 828 6388
*

* best freelance writers
<http://www.odesk.com/community/oconomy/best_freelance_writers/?utm=top_providers_widget>
*

* Visit my website <http://www.tech-challenged.com> to learn more about my services More professional information and online references at Linked In <http://www.linkedin.com/in/deborahshemstreet>
*

*
<http://deborah.hemstreet.googlepages.com/home>*

- CONFIDENTIAL-

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, and may also be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not review, use, copy, or distribute this message. If you receive this email in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply email and then delete this email.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Gain access to everything you need to create and publish information
through multiple channels. Your choice of authoring (and import)
formats with virtually any output. Try Doc-To-Help free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com/


---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


References:
Mac vs PC users: From: Deborah Hemstreet
Re: Mac vs PC users: From: Tim Murray
Re: Mac vs PC users: From: Deborah Hemstreet

Previous by Author: RE: Getting rid of horizontal lines in Word 2007
Next by Author: RE: RE: RE: Mac vs PC users
Previous by Thread: RE: Mac vs PC users
Next by Thread: RE: Mac vs PC users


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads