Educating Rita--GUI Design help

Subject: Educating Rita--GUI Design help
From: Crystol Wigemyr <Crystol -dot- Wigemyr -at- KENONIC -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 10:25:44 -0600

The whole GUI design/ engineers vs. tech writers things hits pretty close to
home right now. I support a subtle approach to adding your bit to software
design projects. The subtle approach often means you have to wait until
after the fact and provide feedback on "usability". And you have to be
prepared to have your feedback go unheeded. At least until the next project
when, suddenly, out of the blue, the interface might look and function a
whole lot better than it did on the previous project. Plato (Andrew, not the
other guy) talks about ramming info down throats, but this approach sure as
heck is not the way to go with engineers. Better off letting the engineers
come to their own conclusions based on your *solicited* feedback. Any other
approach will garner you nothing but frustration and the reputation for
thinking far too highly of yourself, which, in the end, won't help your
career much.

If you suffer from 'geer envy, go back to school and get the credentials.
(If you are a tech writer AND an engineer, you may ignore that last comment
and kudos to you). If you are a good tech writer, your work and your useful
feedback will speak for itself, in time. Don't expect to be afforded that
which you haven't yet earned by virtue of your job title alone.

Patience.... You must learn patience! And a little humility never hurt
either.

Happy hunting,
Crystol


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