RE: "Two-track" documentation

Subject: RE: "Two-track" documentation
From: "Halter, Meg" <HalterMC -at- navair -dot- navy -dot- mil>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 12:41:34 -0800

I usually sit these discussions out, on the theory that I have waaaay more
to learn than I have to say. However, I just have to weigh in on this one.

Accuracy and level of detail are two very different things. We should always
be as accurate as we can manage. We should also take care to tailor the
level of (accurate) detail to the target audience(s).

Just a thought from a newbie.

-- Meg

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Susan W. Gallagher [SMTP:sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com]
> Given the comments:
> >I always thought the Prime Directive was to write technically accurate
> >information in a clear and concise manner. Seeing as how we're TECHNICAL
> >writers and not AUDIENCE writers.
> >
> and
> >> For the life of me, I cannot understand how audience consideration
> >> and technical accuracy are mutually exclusive.
> >
> and
> >Of course, the contrary is the truth. Technical accuracy and audience
> >consideration are mutually dependant.
> >
> >Manifestly, you do not serve any audience by misleading them.
> I gotta disagree. Technical accuracy is certainly not the most important
> characteristic of technical writing. It has to take a back seat to
> relevance
> and usability. Sometimes it doesn't even make it onto the bus.

> I've even seen times when being technically accurate was a detriment to
> the docs because it made the view from the user's perspecitive excessively
> complicated.

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