Re: "Wish" in tech docs

Subject: Re: "Wish" in tech docs
From: Mike Stockman <stockman -at- JAGUNET -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 12:25:17 -0400

On 7/22/1998 11:54 AM, Lin Laurie (linlaurie -at- EMAIL -dot- MSN -dot- COM) wrote:

>Step 1: From the Destination List, click on a destination to
>I think the wish/want is implied and doesn't need to be stated. After all,
>they aren't going to click on a destination that they don't want to edit,
>are they?

Let's follow that logic to its extreme:

1) We don't need to specify "Destination List." Where else would
destinations be listed?
2) We don't need to say "click." Users know how to use mice (sorry,
"mouse devices") these days. Besides, the user might use the arrow keys
and press Enter, and we don't want to seem too restrictive.
3) The user knows what she wants to edit, so we don't have to specify

That leaves us with a nice, simple, concise step:

Step 1: Edit.

Granted, I'm being sarcastic, but you can't just drop a phrase because
you think it's implied. You need to look at the structure and flow of the
sentence and how it sounds to a user. Choppy writing hampers the user
just as much as poor word choice.

If saying "click the thing you want to edit" sounds and flows better than
"click the thing to edit," then keep the "you want" in there.


Internet: stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com AOL: MStockman

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