Re: Purpose Statement for Style Guide

Subject: Re: Purpose Statement for Style Guide
From: "Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "Rebecca" <rebeccam -at- envworld -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 08:34:28 -0700

Without a style guide, every writer makes up their own way of talking about
the stuff your company makes. This means that if there are multiple
books/help for the same product, the user has to learn again how things are
talked about if they pick up a different manual. Decreases usability and
makes everything that much harder for the user.

Without a style guide, it is like each writer is self employed in the larger
company. Bad idea.

Without a style guide, the docs become nearly unmaintainable because every
time a writer needs to take over a project, they must spend a lot of time
trying to figure out how stuff was talked about and/or rewriting to suit
their particular preferences. Who has the schedule for that?

Much time is wasted arguing about what to call stuff and how to talk about
it and that leaves less time for writing. Deadlines get missed.

Professional companies write to a style guide. Billy Bob's Garage Software
companies do not. Which is yours?

Style guides are like UI guides for programmers. Do your programmers just
make up UIs to look however they want? Probably not. (Although we have had
clients that do this and they are large companies!)



Sharon Burton-Hardin
Anthrobytes Consulting
Vice-president, Programs of the Inland Empire chapter of the STC

----- Original Message -----
From: Rebecca <rebeccam -at- envworld -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, 06 July, 2000 8:03 AM
Subject: Purpose Statement for Style Guide

| Our new management thinks that our Style Guide is a luxury and a waste of
| time. Can you provide me with some well-thought-out arguments as to why a
| tech. pubs. team would "need" to have one?
| Thanks,
| Rebecca

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