Re: Culture, or What it means to be a Technical Writer

Subject: Re: Culture, or What it means to be a Technical Writer
From: "Hutchings, Christa" <cwhutchings -at- HOMEWIRELESS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 08:53:57 -0400

I am very lucky in that my current employer operates this way. They
understand that if the TWs have trouble documenting their product
(residential and small business telephony equipment), chances are pretty
good that the customer will have trouble using it. They are very focused
on usability and in fact have conducted several in-depth usability
evaluations during the design process. I work very closely with the
Product Management team regarding user interface, etc. If I point out
something that I think is a usability issue, it gets re-evaluated and
often re-worked.

I will add, though, that in close to 15 years as a TW, this is the first
company I have ever been involved with that has taken this approach.


Chris Welch-Hutchings
Sr. Technical Writer
Home Wireless Networks, Inc.
Norcross GA (USA)
cwhutchings -at- homewireless -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Max Wyss [SMTP:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch]
> Sent: Sunday, May 10, 1998 6:38 AM
> To: Hutchings, Christa
> Cc: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Culture, or What it means to be a Technical Writer
>
> Chris,
>
> This looks like an ideal world, where tech writers have the position
> they
> deserve.
>
> Unfortunately, in the real world, the main reason for a company to
> provide
> documentation is a checkmark on the package list, and maybe because
> there
> are some regulations requiring documentation with the product.
>
> Greetings from another most unread writer...
>
>
> Max Wyss
> PRODOK Engineering AG
> Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
> CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland
>
> Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
> e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch or 100012 -dot- 44 -at- compuserve -dot- com
>
>
>
> Bridging the Knowledge Gap
>
>
>
> _____________
>
>
> >Funny - I have always of myself as standing shoulder to shoulder with
> >the user, facing the engineer. As a TW, my most important task is to
> >help the user use the product. That means I must look at the product
> >from the user's perspective, not the engineer's.
> >
> >In a well run company, the TW is a valued member of the Product
> >Management team whose opinion is sought out about things like user
> >interface, etc. After all, if the product ain't easy to use, it ain't
> >going to be easy to document, and if it ain't easy to document, it
> ain't
> >going to be easy to use. (ETC) - <g>
> >
> >Chris Welch-Hutchings
> >Sr. Technical Writer
> >Home Wireless Networks, Inc.
> >Norcross GA (USA)
> >cwhutchings -at- homewireless -dot- com
> >
>
>
>
>




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