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> BUT (excuse me for shouting) it seems to me
> secondary purposes include things such
> encouraging; convincing the user that the
> developer, the software, and the user are all
members on a
> highly successful team.
> To what extent do you consider this true?
I certainly agree that the on-line help I write
for our product is intended to do more than
inform/instruct. Part of the on-line help's
"raison d'etre" is to reassure the user that the
company producing the software is sufficiently
interested in the user to provide them with
effective assistance when using the product.
The help files I write are often the user's main
source of instruction (not all of our users have
the manual available to them at all times).
>And (if you think
> this is true) what rhetorical tools to you
apply and to what
> extent do you apply them?
Most of this is achieved through tone and
straightforward writing. I write friendly, not
authoritarian help files. They're *not* chatty,
however. And I try to make sure that the text is
clear, clear, clear. If they can understand it,
they'll feel much better about the situation.
After all, if you can't understand the help
file, you must *really* be lost!
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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