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I am the original poster. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'd prefer
that my thread not become an us-versus-them, programmers-versus-tech
writers, flame war.
Let me restate the essence of my original post:
Are any of you software tech writers involved in assisting with the GUI of
your software (beyond finding typos)?
What do you think is a reasonable limit on the number of words and
characters used to label a GUI feature, such as a button, tab, text field,
etc? Can anyone offer a reference tome on this (I couldn't find any info in
the Windows Interface Guidelines for Software Design, but might have missed
it)? I'm thinking along the lines of three words and 25 characters at most.
In retrospect, I did rant a little, in my original post, about some walls I
encountered in getting my GUI opinions heard and acted upon, but I most
certainly did not blame anyone for this other than the "flat" management
structure of my organization and to pose whether this is typical of smaller
software companies. Indeed, as has been pointed out, programmers and tech
writers are both software users, meaning both have the opportunity to
approach GUI design as an end-user.
So, for those writers who hold sway in GUI issues, how does your company
include you? How is the corporate structure set up to solicit and act on
your input? What does your company do in the way of freezing the GUI before
release, or don't they?