RE: Mac vs PC users

Subject: RE: Mac vs PC users
From: "Robart, Kay" <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us>
To: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 11:26:12 -0500

I agree. I can't remember where or when I saw it, but I know I read at
least one study that said that the more ways there are to do things, the
more confusing it is to the users. I usually only document one way,
although I might provide information in an introductory topic about how
to find out what the keyboard shortcuts are, etc., or maybe a tip or two
about an alternate way to do one or two tasks.


-----Original Message-----

Does the person who's telling you this have the authority to make it
stick? If not, I'd politely thank him or her and say, "If Z is the 'Mac
way,' then that's the one I'll describe."

Documenting all the different ways of accomplishing the same task is a
very bad idea, IMHO. And I believe you'll find plenty of tech writing
resources that back me up.

If your procedures are full of steps that begin "Do one of the
following," followed by a bullet list, just to tell readers how to
select a menu item, it's both confusing and tedious. I think most users
will quickly tire of this and give up on the help. I know I would.

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

Mac vs PC users: From: Deborah Hemstreet
Re: Mac vs PC users: From: Tim Murray
Re: Mac vs PC users: From: Deborah Hemstreet
RE: Mac vs PC users: From: Combs, Richard

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