TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Writing vs. Testing vs. Editing? From:Peterson Karen <Peterson_Karen -at- PRC -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 24 May 1999 14:16:43 -0400
I consider the function that a tech writer can most usefully apply to the
testing process is to edit the software.
You get to know the software and the user (audience). You find errors with
the program (such as in a language edit and copy clarification edit) and
errors in the UI (substantive edit, integrity edit, format edit, mechanical
style edit). You suggest changes a user advocate, and you might coordinate
formal usability testing--just like you would with a document you are
Tech writers should edit the software they're writing about whenever
possible. It's valuable to their document, and, most importantly, it's
valuable to the users. I guess you'd say this is Quality Improvement (QI)
rather than Quality Assurance (QA).
"One has reached the ultimate levels of creativity when one has mastered
a skill so thoroughly that it can be forgotten."
Peterson_Karen -at- prc -dot- com