Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town

Subject: Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town
From: Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:00:44 -0600

Technology and user interfaces have arrived at the point where we no longer have to explain how to use a mouse and "see that little arrow on the right side of the File Type field? Click that to drop down a list of available file types to change to a different type of file". Most folks (even Gramma) know these sorts of things now and if they don't they can recruit a seven-year old to explain it to them.

However, we still have to create and make available step-by-step instructions for the most common tasks. The more complicated the application, the more tasks we need to document. However, simple applications that are meant to do only one or two chores are more often designed with big fonts describing each step one screen at a time. The help is embedded into the application and where we add value is making sure that those embedded instructions are appropriate to the audience for the product (and of course, correcting all the misspellings, punctuation errors, grocer's apostrophes, and unnecessary capitalization that engineers and programmers are wont to litter the countryside with).

Best Regards,

Mike
--
Mike Starr, Writer
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - WordPress Websites
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - Custom Microsoft Word templates
(262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - http://www.writestarr.com
President - Working Writers of Wisconsin http://www.workingwriters.org/

On 2/26/2014 2:11 PM, Keith Hood wrote:

So either all new products are so good that users can figure them out
immediately, or all users are now so technologically savvy they can figure
out everything they need to know by themselves? When did this magical
event occur? Judging by what I see and hear around me at Office Max, I
have to think that glorious day is still some time in the future :-)




On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

I see it as more as a shifting of emphasis. For a relatively brief time in
history there was a need to handhold consumers through poorly-thought-out
products based on new tech. As the tech is getting smarter, that need is
becoming increasingly unnecessary, But at the same time, the need to
document what goes on under the hood of that tech is *increasing*. BLS
projects a continued *growth* in future need to technical writers, not a
reduction. It is just that those writers are going to need different and
in many cases more industry-specific qualifications to meet that need.

Gene Kim-Eng


On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM, Janoff, Steven <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com
wrote:

So there's no question the field of what needs to be documented has
shrunk.
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References:
Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town: From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town: From: Keith Hood

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