Re: Categories vs. Alphabetical

Subject: Re: Categories vs. Alphabetical
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 1997 08:05:41 PST

Right now the software fashion mavens are all agog at having applications
with a set of badly defined menus, and documentation that slavishly
follows the menu structure. The result is that you can't find anything.

I think that this is perfectly consistent with redesigning all your
applications to have thousands of microscopic icons whose design in
no way evokes their function. This in turn is consistent with bloated,
buggy, ill-conceived software.

The basic rule of thumb is that the effective IQ of every project team
member drops by ten points whenever another person is added to the
team. Today's software is a wonderful demonstration of the kind of
software created by negative intelligence.

How should a manual be structured? So the readers can find what they're
looking for. The basic mechanism is to look at the leading software
packages on the market, analyze the current standards in use by the
major players in the field, then do the opposite.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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