Archiver > LIST-UPDATE > 2006-08 > 1155692077

From: "Linda Lambert" <>
Subject: Re: [LIST-UPDATE] LIST-UPDATE Digest, Vol 1, Issue 35
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 18:34:37 -0700
In-Reply-To: <>

I used to be a writer for users' manuals at corporations. What we did, was
go under the assumption that nobody knew anything <grin> and wrote the
directions thusly.

In other words, "turn on the machine, using the red button. Give it time to
warm up and wait for the welcome screen....etc." It was so basic that a
child could follow it. I think that's what's needed here. Some of us are
experienced list administrators, others are not. If other people are like
me, they can have a brain cramp about something they've done for years and
draw a total blank.

Let's be respectful of everyone's needs. If getting down to basics helps
newbies, it certainly can't harm experienced users.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 6:26 PM
Subject: Re: [LIST-UPDATE] LIST-UPDATE Digest, Vol 1, Issue 35

In a message dated 8/15/2006 9:19:58 PM Eastern Standard Time,

I can't believe how many people on this list can't follow simple

Rather than berate the list subscribers on this list who wish to unsub and
are having difficulty doing so--perhaps some of them would take a minute to
reply on the list and explain to us what they feel would be adequate
unsubscribe instructions and if they could tell us what is giving them
difficulty in following the instructions.

For those of us who are experienced list admins--it seems simple and
easy--but it might help us to provide better instructions if those having
trouble would let us know the reason why--and tell us what they would like
to see in a list message to help them unsub easily.

PS: I've written and edited many a help text in my time and I learned
early on that two words to avoid are "simply" and "just" because if it were
so simple for everyone or you "just" had to do it--then it wouldn't be
necessary to write help instructions. <g> Many things are simple when you
"just" know how to do them--but it is always important to put yourself in
the place of the novice who feels lost and for whom it isn't so simple. We
need to know FROM THEM--what would make it simple for them.
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