RE: peanut butter and jelly - revisited

Subject: RE: peanut butter and jelly - revisited
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "Cascio, Justin" <Justin_Cascio -at- tvratings -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:38:02 -0800 (PST)

When I originaly introduced the PB&J example, it was
to a simple request from someone on the list...I have
a presentation to a bunch of engineers and I'd like a
fun, imaginative way of describing what a tech writer
does.

It was at the end of the day, I was just getting ready
to shut my machine, and I threw out the idea that what
you do as a tech writer is to take a process and
document it so that anyone, even if they don't know
the technology, can perform a series of instructions
to get a desired result. At the same time, you can let
the engineers know that what may appear to them to be
a process that "everyone" knows and "anyone" can
write, isn't as easy to describe as some may think,
which is why we do what we do.

<sigh> I should have gone home just a little earlier
that day. I didn't think it would hand around and
haunt me this long.


--- "Cascio, Justin" <Justin_Cascio -at- tvratings -dot- com>
wrote:
> Kevin, you're very funny. John, I think, based on
> your response, that you
> misunderstand the question I am raising. The
> question is: what is the
> purpose of the exercise? Is this an exercise in
> learning all of the steps
> you could document (painfully demonstrated by a
> naif's attempt to follow
> them) so that you can then begin to cull those
> instructions that you can
> safely assume (through audience analysis) will be
> understood by the user?
> Justin
>
>
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=====
John Posada, Merck Research Laboratories
Sr Technical Writer, WinHelp and html
(work) john_posada -at- merck -dot- com - 732-594-0873
(pers) jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com - 732-291-7811
"The art of creating software that is usable by individuals is a communication skill. It is not a programming skill."
--Bill Atkinson, creator of MacPaint and HyperCard
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