RE: "Two-track" documentation

Subject: RE: "Two-track" documentation
From: "Edwin Skau" <eddy_skau -at- mailcity -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 10:19:50 +0530

Audience assessment is a part of our job, but that can be taken to extremes. The first part of our job is to understand the content of the information we are processing, and present it
flawlessly to the audience.

The presentation part would take into consideration audience assessment. One problem is that while the other tasks may be accomplished using specialised tools, the task of audience assessment is usually left to our instincts, and often influenced by our biased understanding of others.

I have seen what this can do in other fields like journalism and curriculum design. Statistical surveys also do not provide incontrovertible benchmarks by which we can design our presentation.

Therefore, while audience assessment is incidental, it is should not be the basis on which information is left out of documentation.
Who knows, the moron who doesn't know how to zip up his fly, may be the guy who can explain everything you wanted to know about cryogenic rockets, but some tech writer thought you didn't need to know.

Earnestly

eddy


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