User Interfaces

Subject: User Interfaces
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1993 15:55:04 CST

Mary Beth,

You suggested "updating" the user interfaces, and believe me, if I could, I
would. I spend about one day each week on the help desk, and I suffer as much as
anyone. (BTW--I like to think of my time on the help desk as extended audience
analysis exercises.)

Unfortunately, changing the interfaces or the systems isn't an option, and
we have to deal with what we have. I doubt that this is a unique problem--
few people who are really familiar with the product they are documenting
would say that the product is beyond improvement.

Tying in the other thread--how do we implement "quality" or access to quality
when working with less-than-ideal interfaces and systems? All of the
systems have strengths, but the quality isn't uniform.

I really don't believe that it is possible to write a great manual
about a less than great product, but I would like to have at least
usable or acceptable manuals coming out of my office.


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