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9 cheers for Nora Merhar's comments in the TECHWR-L issue of 1 Mar 1996.
I have only been on the list for 5 weeks, and I admit to have found
some very useful mails. I also admit to have used the list to ask
questions, which has gracefully been answered. I have found mails,
too, which are less interesting for me, but very probably is
interesting for other people with other professional interests than
mine. Fine, too! But for most of it I am sorry to have to agree with Nora.
One thing frustrates me even more. In a number of cases there was
technical writers *looking down* at collegues who are trying to use
graphics or even cartoons to make the manuals more readable. As some
of you have probably found out, my hobbyhorse is "the user friendly
manual". If you are writing for techno-nuts it is generally OK to
limit the costly graphics to the most necessary ones. But if you
write for consumers or even secretarial staff, you should really try
to make the manual user friendly, - and one of the ways is an
intelligent use of graphics. Remember, too, that approx. 12-20 % of
the adult population even in contries with a very ood school system
are not able to read even a tabloid newspaper! (By the way, - that's
why they include so many pictures!)
I would be very happy to see a discussion on the subject "How can we
make manuals more user frindly"! If some of you out there are interested
in how I work on this subject, take a look at my homepage (see below)
and click "Tip of the month". You can go back month by month from the
"tip of the month" pages.