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Subject:Re: What *is* user-friendly... From:Karen_Mayer -dot- TOUCH_TECHNOLOGY -at- NOTES -dot- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM Date:Tue, 23 Jan 1996 11:31:58 EST
In the wisdom of my not-so-advanced age, I've learned that
generalizations about people based on age are as dangerous as
generalizations based on anything else -- height, weight, hair color,
finger length, in-sies vs. out-sies, etc. So IMHO I think it's best to
fall back on the good old rule we tech whirlers have long relied on:
write for your audience.
If my audience is very, very novice WRT the product I'm writing about, I
would use a "friendlier" tone (not condescending) that explains things in
simpler concepts. If my audience is an expert in the field, I write to
that level. I doubt that cartoons and stories about Aunt Edna are ever a
*good* idea in any technical manual (an occasional cartoon might be fun
if it's extremely relevant, but it might be easy to get carried away).
We're writing to provide information and/or instruct. Keeping this in
mind might tend to eliminate the stories and cartoons, unless our
audience is 5 years old. (Imagine standing in front of a classroom of
business professionals and teaching that way!)