Value added by technical documentati

Subject: Value added by technical documentati
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 1997 10:12:02 +0100


* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von wilcoxj -at- WDNI -dot- COM an All am 07.03.97

ww> From: "Wilcox, John (Contractor)" <wilcoxj -at- WDNI -dot- COM>

ww> So this discussion leads me to my burning issue: where do
ww> technical writers
ww> belong in the development/testing/production phase? If we have
ww> to
ww> document/bandage bad UI and programming (and take the heat for
ww> manuals that
ww> are too big, too costly, too late, blah blah ad nauseum), don't
ww> we really
ww> belong in the picture long before the code is codified?

you are definitely right! I feel that those people who see a product
(especially software) from within are disqulified to judge about the outside
view of the product. This relies on the fact that they know how *the product
works* which very often is qute different from the way *the product is used*
in the field. Therefore they rely on a totally different logic.

One of the possible ways out of this dilemma is to involve one of us very
early. There is a long-standing idea that we are the advocats of the end user
within the manufacturer.

Another view you could read in this thread: The best user interface is an
invisible one and a manual might only be an excuse for a bad user interface.
So we must do something to remain in business and I feel that we are quite
qualified to fill these new jobs.

This shurely means that our jobs will change. But what is a technical
communicator without lots of curiosity? :-)

Greetings from germany,

Alexander von Obert, Urbanstr. 2, 90480 Nuernberg, Germany
Free-lance Technical Writer (electronics, software)
Voice +49-911-403903, Fax +49-911-403904, BBS +49-911-403905 (FIDO 2:2490/1719)

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