Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town

Subject: Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "ginger -dot- moskowitz -at- kaba -dot- com" <ginger -dot- moskowitz -at- kaba -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 09:09:48 -0800

On Friday, February 21, 2014 7:29 AM, ginger -dot- moskowitz -at- kaba -dot- com wrote:
> Isn't web design focused on mobile apps now...or designs that can work on both a PC and a mobile device? ...

I don't see that mobile/tablet/smartphone is all the much of a leap beyond desktop/laptop -- still using something of a desktop metaphor (slightly modified), and from a tech writing standpoint, you're using newer words like tap, swipe, and pinch instead of the older items like click, select, etc.

The iPad/iPhone user guides are not that different from the user guides I remember from the 1990's.

Touch interfaces seem to be only about input as the difference. The manual tells how to operate the interface. We've been documenting point-and-click (now tap-and-swipe) interfaces since I guess the 1980's when there were only command line interfaces. As I recall, CLI documentation was pretty easy. So until devices and their interfaces go beyond the desktop metaphor that we're still using (and again, I don't think touch screen goes beyond that), we're basically writing the same instructions over and over again, with mild variation. You could put the whole thing in a big CMS and probably cover most of our jobs.

Steve

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