Re: Recognition at last!

Subject: Re: Recognition at last!
From: Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 09:41:08 -0500

At 09:11 AM 11/5/96 +0200, Joan Michaeli <joan -at- RTS -dot- CO -dot- IL> wrote:
>The Introduction to "Getting Results with Microsoft Office for Windows 95"
>(the only manual you get when you purchase Office) includes the following:
>"Historically, we've focused on documenting our products - that is,
>explaining how they work, often in intricate detail.'ve told us that
>your primary focus is on getting your work done, not learning our products!
>...we also thought about makers of other types of products and how they
>provide assistance to their users.
>...when you buy a car, you need enough information about how the car works
>to enable you to drive it safely; you don't ...need to understand...the
>internal combustion engine...and when you're planning to drive your car from
>A to B, you just want to know the most direct route, not every possible
>route." etc., etc.
>Sounds familiar? One of the first lessons in any tech. writing course
>emphasizes these points. Do you think that Microsoft actually listened to
>their tech. writers? Has the tech. writing business achieved respectability?
>I see that they've also added a Credits page and have included the tech.
>writers. As I said, recognition at last.

Unfortunately, the resulting document is worse than useless. If all you
ever want to do with the products is the simplistic tasks they have
described, fine. If you're a complete newcomer to word processing, or to
working with spreadsheets, the document might serve as a very basic
introduction to using the applications.

As an intermediate-lever user trying to work my way up to power user, I
found the doc to be worthless. Give me back my REAL manual! And yes, I
have since purchased two third-party books. I had to.

If I were a tech writer with MS, I'd have been embarassed to have my name on
the Credits page.

Win Day
Technical Writer/Editor
Email: winday -at- idirect -dot- com

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