Re: Finally Clear On the Concept

Subject: Re: Finally Clear On the Concept
From: Marc Paquette <paquette -at- INFINITY -dot- METROWERKS -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 1994 10:22:43 -0500

Hello, all,

I certainly don't want to start a flame war, but on September 13, 1994,
Gwen Gall writes,

> "SELL IT WITH A KISS: The KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) approach
> to selling computers is catching on, and Packard Bell's in
> terpretation includes color-coded computer cables and ports
> (Fortune 9/5/94 p.107)
> **********************

> Imagine documenting a system like that, instead of having to twist
> and turn in agony to try to explain a poorly designed, cryptic
> system explicitly designed to confound the user, and ending up
> looking like the idiot?

I don't have to imagine--the KISS approach in the Apple Mac's design is one
reason why I my Mac software documentation job is so enjoyable.

Heck, Apple ports and cables have been labelled with pictures of monitors,
printers, mice, keyboard, and so on, for a decade! And Mac software is
(usually) just as straightforward and well-designed.

As for documentation, Apple sells the _Apple Publications Style Guide_ to
developers and technical writers. The guide describes Apple's policy on
"click the button" and "click on the button" and other things. ;-)

The guide is quite helpful, and often confounding. ;-)
Of course, it standardizes many terms and expressions, but it also helps
to give the "big picture" for the whole Mac philosophy.

I'm curious--does Microsoft have something similar for the MS-DOS/Windows
world, or does IBM have its OS/2 pubs style guide? Sun?

Marc Paquette Technical Publications, Metrowerks Inc.
voice: (514) 747-5999 internet: paquette -at- metrowerks -dot- ca
"The Information Revolution of today was generated by bright
people who had no courses in 'computer literacy' in school."
--Marjorie Gann

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