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

Subject: Re: Scalding vat of liquid tungsten, please (was Educating Rita)
From: Stephen Arrants <stephena -at- COMPBEAR -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 08:24:25 -0700

----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: <TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 12:34 AM
Subject: Scalding vat of liquid tungsten, please (was Educating Rita)



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
the
| next guy - engineers included. There are plenty of cases where what seems
like
| a stupid UI decision actually makes sense once you understand the
engineer's
| intentions behind the design. Therefore, in a rush to defend the tender
| sensibilities of the user, it is easy to forget to ask a simple question -
"why
| did you do that?"

Well, yes, the technical writer DOES have some unique vision into the mind
o' the users. Or, a good technical writer does. The engineer's intent behind
the design usually has nothing to do with usability from the perspective of
the user. And usability oft times falls to the person(s) documenting the
software, since a good many companies think usability is something the other
guy wastes money on. If I ask a developer "Why did you do that?" and his
answer doesn't have anything to do with "Because the people I talked to
wanted that command there, in that menu, doing that thing, at that
time."....well, uh......



steve arrants


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



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