Re: Multimedia as part of a T...

Subject: Re: Multimedia as part of a T...
From: cathy pacza <cathyp -at- SYBASE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 1994 20:12:08 GMT

>Yes and No, this should be a course for a technical Illustrator. The
>is concerned with two way communications. The writer communicates to the
>customer and communcates the customers needs back into the company. on the
>other hand the writer must be aware that they may have to use mutimedia to
>delivery the message faster and with less words. But, they must not try to
>become the programmer or the illustrator, less they deminish their primary

I beg to differ with this opinion. In my role as technical writer, I am
responsible for many aspects of the communication process. My primary focus
is to develop an online help system (which many tech writers are now doing)
for an application developed in house.

To do this job, I need to be aware of several things:

a) writing and editing
b) how best to present the information to the user. This
may include the use of illustrations, sound, video, etc.
c) programming. I need to know how to link my help file
into the application for which it is being written.
d) usability
e) user interface guidelines (as specified by vendors and
internal sources)

While my primary focus is still writing, I would say that 40% of my time is
spent on the other issues mentioned above.

I am in favour of including a section on multimedia in a Technical
Communications course (although it should be an elective, so those more
interested in other writing disciplines are not required to take the course).
I wish that I had had an opportunity to take a course covering this
information; it would have saved a lot of on-th-job learning!!

Cathy Pacza
Technical Writer
Sybase Canada, Inc.
cathy -dot- pacza -at- sybase -dot- com

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