Re: Our Real Nemesis

Subject: Re: Our Real Nemesis
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 19:08:15 -0400

William Meisheid wrote:
> And I believe I am correct in saying that the real function
> of technical communication is meeting the needs of the user,
> no matter what other agendas are attached along the way.
> Once the document, or the help system, or the process
> itself, becomes an end in itself, the real function is lost.

No argument from me, although from your reply I suspect that you're
expecting one.

Based on Eric Gill's "Essay on Typography" and my own exposure to the
best of typography, I firmly believe that, if a manual is designed with
ease of reading and scanning in mind, then it is not only functional but
also a highly aesthetic object as well.

Personally, I disagree with both extremes.

Those who insist only on function forget how much layout affects that

Those who insist only on aesthetic forget that the manual is not an end
in itself.

Neither extreme produces the best work.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Vancouver, BC, Canada
(604) 421-7189 or 687-2133
bbyfield -at- axionet or bruce -at- dataphile-ca -dot- com (updated 1 May , 1998)

"Yours is the open road,
The bitter song, the heavy load
That I'll never share
Though the offer's still there,
Every time you turn around."
- Stan Rogers

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