Re: Help w/TW skills

Subject: Re: Help w/TW skills
From: LynnDianne Beene <lbeene -at- UNM -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 09:39:18 -0700

Great response!! I hadn't considered these points but,
now that you mention them, they are exactly the skills
that I had to cultivate on the job when I was working
as a tech writer. Thanks for the input!! I'll use it.

Lynn Beene email: lbeene -at- unm -dot- edu
B & F Writers Albuquerque, New Mexico 87123

Is it not, then, better to be ridiculous and friendly than clever and hostile?

On Tue, 30 Jan 1996, John P. Brinegar wrote:

> Lynn,

> > In the fall semester I'll be teaching technical writing
> > in a computer lab for the first time. The students will
> > be mostly undergraduates wanting to become professional
> > writers and editors. Their writing skills vary greatly,
> > from some who are great writers to some who can't recognize
> > a sentence fragment from a graphic. As professionals,
> > what would you all say are the top skills I should push in
> > this class?

> I am concerned that many would-be and actual tech communicators are more
> concerned with writing skills than actually meeting the primary objective
> of our profession. That objective is to promote the on-the-job performance
> of the users of our work.

> This requires many more and more important skills than just clear writing
> (not that clear writing isn't important). Among these other skills are:

> --Understanding the users' world of work
> --Providing the right assistance and information at the right time and place
> --Communicating visually
> --Thinking as the users think-having strong empathy for the users
> --Choosing the right media (great masses of text on paper are seldom the
> right medium)
> --Developing in multiple media (text, graphics, animation, video, audio,
> (smell-a-vision, feel-a-vision?)
> --Delivering in multiple media
> --Acquiring information and expertise from appropriate sources (these are
> not always the development engineers)
> --Interviewing users and sources of information and expertise
> --Working in a cross-functional-team environment (marketers, tech support,
> users, trainers, and other tech commuicators)

> -----------------------------------
> John P. Brinegar,
> Consulting and development
> -Performance support systems
> -Technical communications

> Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
> (602) 278-7398
> johnbri -at- primenet -dot- com

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