Re: Scalding vat of liquid tungsten, please (was Educating Rita)

Subject: Re: Scalding vat of liquid tungsten, please (was Educating Rita)
From: "M. H. Broderick" <m -dot- h -dot- broderick -at- INDOC -dot- DE>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 13:55:20 +0200

Hi Andrew, people,

Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote -- and rightly so:

> I think it is very unprofessional to start ASSUMING you know what is going
> better than the next guy. I've been inside too many projects to realize
> 3/4 the time, my perspective and understanding of the project, user,
> technology, etc. is not 100% keen.

Good philosophy.

> What I have found is that if I let engineers
> explain themselves to me, most of the time they arrive at the same
> I do. And all I had to do was ask them why.

Good psychology.

> This is where the whole "advocate for the user" concept breaks down. The
> "user-advocacy" concept assumes that you as a tech writer have some unique
> vision into the mind of users. The truth, you have no better vision than
> next guy - engineers included.

Isn't the _user-advocacy_ concept based more on our identification with
users when we attempt to understand and describe product functions rather
than on our knowledge about them? I don't think we know more about users
than designers, programmers, engineers or marketing people either (despite
our target group analyses), but our work lets us see the product from the
user's perspective. Maybe we tech writers also have more freedom to consider
the user than engineers and others whose work is often tied to mandatory
specifications and other constraints.

By the way I'm Mike Broderick, new to this list and a freelancer living in

> Zoiks. 12:30 AM! Night night.

Huh? Time for lunch here. :)

InDoc - Michael Henry Broderick
Technical Writing on Target
m -dot- h -dot- broderick -at- indoc -dot- de

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