Re: Not Wanted--Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Not Wanted--Technical Writers
From: Emru Townsend <emru -at- CORECO -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 13:04:57 -0500

Don Sargent wrote:
>Did anyone else get a look at this article in the Washington Post's
>weekly business section yesterday?
>
>What do you think?
>
>http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1997-12/15/003l-121597-idx.htm
l
I just looked at it. Thanks for the URL.
My reaction is, "It's hot! It's new! It's hip! It's young! It's cool!
Yawn."

Mine is almost the same, except that I agree with some of the sentiment.
The manuals I work on, which are mostly revisions of pre-existing manuals,
are exceptionally technical and dry; I'm not surprised when someone says
the clients never read them. The two manuals I've created myself are half
the size of their counterparts, more direct, and have far less text and
more illustrations. What little feedback I've received has been good.

"Infodumping" is a problem. The guys in tech support, sales, and software
often want me to include "one little thing" which becomes another page. Or
two. Our five.

This has been bugging me for months. There has to be a better way to do
this, to streamline the documentation to the point where the user isn't
afraid to open the manual.

Of course, I'm biased. I was an arts (film animation) major.

Emru Townsend
emru -at- coreco -dot- com

http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/



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