Re: Estimating Quality Documentation?

Subject: Re: Estimating Quality Documentation?
From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 10:29:43 -0400

Anthony Markatos wrote

>So if quality documentation takes time and has a minimum number of pages,
>why do all the Technical Writing experts advocate estimating techniques
>based upon page count?

Because when asked to come up with metrics, people almost invariably come up
with the thing that is easiest to count, rather than the thing that is most

In truth, the quality of documentation cannot be measured by its physical
characteristics. It must be measured by its behavioral characteristics.

In the simplest terms, the purpose of all communication is to change
behavior. To assess a document you must determine what behavior the author
was trying to provoke and then see if the reader displays that behavior.

Mark Baker
Senior Technical Communicator
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Gloucester, Ontario
Canada, K1J 9B8
Phone: 613-745-4242
Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com

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