Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 4 Sep 1996 to 5 Sep 1996

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 4 Sep 1996 to 5 Sep 1996
From: Marilyn Barrett O'Leary <moleary -at- LSUVM -dot- SNCC -dot- LSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 13:34:56 +0100

In response to Eric J. Ray:
>I'd even be interested in
>anecdotal evidence -- how many of the people on TECHWR-L
>read all steps, remember them, then apply them?
>How many go one step at a time?

Your question is based upon following those instructions most common to
you: computer instructions. But these are different from most other
instructions, because you can stop and look at the book each time. The
computer does nothing but await your command. However, in auto mechanics,
you can't always stop between tasks. You are often holding something in
place with a wrench in one hand while turning a screw or stretching a belt
with the other. When installing an electrical fixture in the ceiling, you
are holding the fixture up with one hand and joining the appropriate wires
with the other. You have to read the entire instruction before you do the
task or else. Some of the fire extinguishing instructions in chemical
situations require reading, and maybe commiting to memory, several steps.
Therefore, UNDER MANY ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, people read all the steps,
or a chunk of steps, and then apply them.

I wonder, do some of you use document design to compensate for large chunks?

Marilyn Barrett O'Leary
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-7507
moleary -at- lsuvm -dot- sncc -dot- lsu -dot- edu

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