Re: "How to Help Anyone Understand How to Do Anything"

Subject: Re: "How to Help Anyone Understand How to Do Anything"
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2018 13:03:53 -0400

For a tech-writing assignment many years ago I was told, explicitly, not to mention "things going wrong" or bugs. Because the tech manual was to be seen by prospective customers, nothing was to be seen as possible failure of the product.

That company is no longer in business.

On Mon, 30 Apr 2018 12:52:09 -0400, Jack DeLand <jackdeland -at- adamcharlesconsulting -dot- com> wrote:

The post is worthwhile for reminding us of two things that are almost
always left out of instructions: time to complete the task, and what to do
in case of failure. IIRC, the latter was one of John Carroll's founding
principles. Bugs me to no end to see zero help to the user in case things
go wrong. Maybe we can blame the lawyers.

Jack DeLand
MadSkills Flare Consultant

On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 10:44 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
wrote:

I don't know who she is, couldn't find a bio, and the post isn't
particularly well written or edited, so what's her opinion worth to
me?

On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 7:31 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> I think it's safe to assume that given her language when citing the
books,
> she thinks they're worth reading.
>
> Most of the reviewers on Amazon, however, seem to think that Follow the
> Yellow Brick Road: Learning to Give, Take, and Use Instructions isn't
> particularly useful. I couldn't find a listing for Information
Architecture
> 2, though, and I'm wondering if she meant Information Anxiety 2, instead.
>
> On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 10:23 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com
>
> wrote:
>>
>> It's a vapid and useless blog post. She doesn't even give a sense of
>> whether the books she cites are worth reading.
>>
>> On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 6:29 AM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
>> wrote:
>> > I came across this article today and wondered what you all might think
>> > of it. The subhead reads: "Instructions made easy." Has the author
succeeded
>> > in making instructions easy?
>> >
>> >
>> > https://www.inc.com/alison-davis/how-to-help-anyone-
understand-how-to-do-anything.html
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References:
"How to Help Anyone Understand How to Do Anything": From: Cardimon, Craig

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