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> | "user-advocacy" concept assumes that you as a tech writer have some
> | vision into the mind of users. The truth, you have no better vision than
> | next guy - engineers included. There are plenty of cases where what
> | a stupid UI decision actually makes sense once you understand the
> | 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
> | did you do that?"
Programmers, engineers, developers, people who actually construct things
must have a very good understanding about the intricacies of the technology
they are using. They must be specialists about the needs of the technology
and they must cater those needs in order to build something that lasts (laws
of physics, hardware, Microsoft, etc). Because of that, their minds are so
focused on the inner workings of what they are building that they have
neither the time nor the objective point of view required to criticize what
they have just built. It is not because they are dumb, it is only human
nature not to be objective about what we create ourselves. It is easier and
faster to get a second opinion than to go into a meditative state to remove
any emotional attachments to the product we built. That's why, I have my
user guides read by people before I send them to the print shop.
It is ok to ask "why did you do that?" but that does not mean that the
answer will be good.