Purpose of Tech Writing

Subject: Purpose of Tech Writing
From: Paul Hanson <PHanson -at- Quintrex -dot- com>
To: Tech Writers List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 14:41:04 -0600

It's true that too much technical information clouds the user's vision.
What I was told, in my 1st tech writing job when writing a procedure,
was to write the procedure from the user perspective. Write it and then
'do it' asking questions such as, "Does the user need to know what files
are being updated behind the scenes? Does the user need to know about a
fancy algorhythm? Does the user need to know what the valid values for a
Product Code field are? Does the user need to know what format to enter
a date in?

All of these are questions that invite 'technical' information. From the
user's perspective, it is important to give them enough information, but
not enough information to cloud their task.

Paul Hanson
QA Specialist
Quintrex Data Systems
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