Re: ISO 26514 draft ready for comment [long]

Subject: Re: ISO 26514 draft ready for comment [long]
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:00:37 -0400

I've only peeked at the introduction. I won't have time to
look at the whole thing until next week--I'm too busy looking
for tech-writing work and taking care of the horses. (At our
place we actually have BOTH ends of the horse.)

I'll have to take issue with the second sentence of the
introduction, though, right now, before it escapes.

"The documentation can be the first tangible item that
the user sees, and so influences the user’s first
impressions of the product."

This is rarely the case. We have already talked too much about
how nobody actually reads or even picks up the user manual, and
if the product is well designed, there may not even be a user
manual. Sometimes even the help files go totally unnoticed.

I'll admit that, 20 or more years ago there was a crying need
for good documentation as a sales tool. Often the sales
force was selling vaporware, and the only way they could
show anything to the prospects was a slick prototype of
the user manual.

So the whole beast puts forth its necessity on a false premise.
Do we need anything else besides shoot it dead before it collapses
in front of us as we write and needs to be carted off before
we can start our next documentation task?

Where is my Heffalump Gun?

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

Ok, I've taken a quick flip through the draft, and I don't even agree that these
are "requirements." What I'm seeing here is something that is midway between
being a Level 2 process document and a Level 3 work instruction document.
And at 129 pages, it's more than twice the size of my department's Level 3
instruction document (which includes a copy of our style guide as well as the
actual work instructions).

I'll start in on the comments template, but for now all I can say is...OMG.

Gene Kim-Eng
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: ISO 26514 draft ready for comment [long]: From: Peter Sturgeon
Re: ISO 26514 draft ready for comment [long]: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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