Re: Techwriter and designer?

Subject: Re: Techwriter and designer?
From: "Robyn M. Nace" <robyn -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 12:52:36 -0400

I must say that I envy all of those who posted saying that they have
successfully convinced their employers that tech writers are useful (even
invaluable) in the design of a product.

While I was at my first job out of college, I did have a chance to impact the
design of the Help system, and even, to a lesser extent, the product itself. I
was a junior technical writer in a large group, so it was more difficult to be
heard. We also had separate UI and Usability groups who had more impact on the

My most recent position, as the only technical writer and as a member of the UI
team, afforded me absolutely no impact on the design at all. I wasn't even
always told when releases were going to happen! I'm no longer at that company.

I don't know that Technical Writers should be *responsible for* or *in charge
of* the UI, but I do believe that Tech Writers should be involved in the design
process, and act as champions for the users. In fact, I would say that separate
UI and Tech Writing teams are a necessity when it comes to releasing a product.
I will never again work for a company that doesn't believe that Tech Writers
are anything more than wordsmiths or "non-technical employees."

Just my 2 cents!

Pierre Roberge wrote:

> My goal is to be become in charge of the design of the interface AND
> also be responsible for the documentation. I studied in Human Factors
> Engineering and had a hard time finding a job in that field so I got a
> job as a techwriter and was promised that I would be part of the design
> of the software.
> Did that happen to anyone?


Robyn M. Nace
robyn -at- hotmail -dot- com
Yes, I'm in New Hampshire

"I have seen over the mountain,
and it is more suburbs."
-someone describing silicon valley

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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