Is It My Job?

Subject: Is It My Job?
From: Tiffany Crotogino Munoz <Crotogino-Munoz_Tiffany/CORP_LABS -at- CST -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 10:42:37 -0400

> After I prepared my initial online Help
project, the programmers
> told me that they could not work with my
context strings; they
> provided me with a file with the context
strings and numbers
> that they wanted to use. I aliased the entire
project to make
> their strings take priority.

That seems OK to me. That's how I work around
here, and I don't have a problem with that.
after all, I'm building help to work in the app.
they're creating, not the other way around.

>Then I got my next surprise: they
> told me that my Help was "worthless" because I
needed to provide
> documentation on every menu option so that a
user choosing a
> menu option could press F1 and get a
description of the command
> the option launched.

I, too, would get a little indignant if someone
had the audacity to call my work "worthless" on
such grounds. However, giving some sort of help
for the individual menu items is not
unreasonable. I do it very much the way you have
constructed yours, with a screenshot and
pop-ups. No complaints around here (as a matter
of fact, this one was considered a bonus by our
project leader, who hadn't required it.)

I will say your developers seem to be a tad
uncooperative, and I agree you'd probably be
doing better if you could coordinate this
through the project leader, rather than dealing
with the developers ("'conflict management"
would seem to be a good subtitle for project
manager, don't you think? :-)).

I do agree with Sue Gallagher, who suggested
that some good advance planning would go a long
way to avoiding these types of problems. I
learned that the hard way, on the first on-line
help I ever created. Then again, hindsight is
almost invariably 20/20, isn't it...

I hope that sort of answers your question,

Tiffany Crotogino Munoz
Technical Writer
CS&T
Montreal, QC Canada
tiffany -at- cst -dot- ca


My opinions are mine, not the company's. If they
want to share them, that's fine. If they don't,
that's fine, too.

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