Re: Breaking into the tech writing job market

Subject: Re: Breaking into the tech writing job market
From: Stuart Burnfield <sburnf -at- au1 -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 14:25:37 +0800

Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> said:
> In fact, most of my mentors (including several with post graduate
> degrees) said that the quickest way to talk down to your readers
> is to assume they are not that smart.

Yes! As Alan Cooper says in About Face, "Imagine users as intelligent but
very busy."

I can do that. I can write for someone who has a task to do but needs some
key information to help them complete that task and get on with their job
or life. Imagining that person as "intelligent but very busy" helps to
remind me not to waste their time.

What I don't know how to do is to write successful instructions for a
stupid person. How could that attitude not seep into my writing? Who would
want to read it?



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