TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Making Idiots' Errors Work for You From:Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM> Date:Sun, 17 Nov 1996 10:00:03 PST
>>1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to
>>"Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the
>>"Any" key is.
Imbeciles. All three words in "Press Return Key" can be either verbs or
nouns. Anyway, the "Return key" is labeled "Enter" on most keyboards.
On the other hand, they could take the error the users make and run with
it. If they changed the instruction to "Press a Key," the
dumb users would press the "a" key, which would work perfectly.
Whenever possible, you should make the most common user mistakes give
the results they're looking for. The whole point of intuitive design
is arranging things so that the user can proceed by guesswork.
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139