Re: Think Different, You.

Subject: Re: Think Different, You.
From: "Michele Marques" <mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 10:30:36 -0500

Andrew says that we should not underestimate the readers, that
they're not at dumb as we may think.

Some of my products users are dumb! Actually, some are also
illiterate and don't read the manual, but that's a whole other issue.
Even users who aren't dumb often just want to get their job done
and look up what they need to know in order to: finish taking an
order, figure out how to locate a part needed to be shipped, etc. If
they spend too much time reading the manual, they may lose an
impatient customer, not locate the part before the truck leaves, etc.

On the other hand, I do include "extra" information - I just try to
keep it in consistent locations, so that users know how to skim to
what they need if they are just looking something up quickly. For
example, I put a lot of the "big picture" and "nice to know"
information in overviews at the start of a section. At the level of a
specific option (where a user is often using F1 help to get
information quickly), I will limit this information to (at most) a
couple of sentences pointing out other relevant options.

Michele Marques
Technical Writer, CMS Manufacturing Systems
mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com
905-477-4499 x280

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