Re: Help w/TW skills

Subject: Re: Help w/TW skills
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 14:30:36 -0800

I agree with the previous posts on this subject. Interviewing skills
are important and so are basic design skills, a good (overview)
knowledge of tools, realistic career expectations, and intimate
knowledge of the target audience. To that list, I'd like to add:

* Information organization -- basic outlining techniques.
So many documents suffer from a basic lack of structure.
I doesn't matter if each individual paragraph is well
written, it's the organization of information that makes
it accessible.

* An introduction to learning styles and what a technical
writer can do to accomodate all, or most, of the various
learning styles in a single document

* An overview of technical writing techniques (minimalism,
modularism, information mapping) with an eye to how a
writer can pull from each of them effectively for the
job at hand

I also believe that all writers should, at least once, be
*forced* to watch (without the ability to coach) while an
unsuspecting user attempts to perform a task from their
documentation. It's such an eye-opener.

And, it would be great if your students could learn to
present information electronically as well as on paper.

-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com

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