Differences between user and technician documentation

Subject: Differences between user and technician documentation
From: "Comeau, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 12:39:16 -0500

Hello all!
I am in the middle of my very own "Holy War" here, and I really want my side
to win, so I am amassing my army in the form of techwhirlers. No bonuses
offered, but no real work needed except for an opinion or six.

Right now I'm compiling things like FAQs, and step-by-step docs for users.
Our Documentation Standards Committee has a totally different way of doing
this which is geared toward the technician. (We're talking about computer
users and computer techs here...) Keep in mind that the tech installs and
configures the software, and the users uses it, and the DSC wants to use the
same format for both types of docs.

I say that documentation for the average end-user MUST be written
differently (in tone, format, writing style) than that for technicians. I
need to now explain WHY to some people who cannot grasp that the average
user (who has no technical background) cannot use documentation the same way
as a technician (who in many cases has knowledge and experience far
surpassing mine).

I am sure all of you out there will agree with me on this basic point, but
I'd like to add to my existing arguments. Anyone have any ideas?

Lisa Comeau
Office (416) 327-1112
Pager (416) 715-9198
mailto:Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- moh -dot- gov -dot- on -dot- ca

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