Re: writing around desgin flaws

Subject: Re: writing around desgin flaws
From: Kris Olberg <KJOlberg -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 14:44:21 -0500

In a message dated 95-11-15 09:10:00 EST, tammyh -at- FGM -dot- COM (Tammy Hale) writes:

> I'm interested in how people
>write around serious flaws for which there is no logical explanation.

Here's my approach: Be honest to the users without making it obvious that the
product has a design flaw. This doesn't mean that you explicitly say, "The
SuperGizmo does not allow you to add a product to the SuperList unless you
..." or even "Due to instability problems with the SuperGizmo, you must add a
product to the SuperList by ..." Just say, "To add a product to the
SuperList, do the following..." Then provide the workaround. If there is no
workaround, don't discuss the task unless a user interface makes it
"untransparent" to the user (by way of grayed buttons or menu options,
hardware buttons that can be pushed but don't work, etc.) say "Currently, you
cannot add a product to the SuperList." Also, it can be dangerous to promise
that something will be fixed or added in an upcoming release. Sometimes,
you're lying (even though your intentions are good.) Nonfunctioning
functionality (whew! where did that come from?) is sometimes scrapped.

In any case, make sure you get sign off from the marketing folks and legal

kjolberg -at- aol -dot- com
kjolberg -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
102031 -dot- 3556 -at- compuserve -dot- com

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