Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easy = True

Check out Kai Weber's interesting post about the effects of clear software documentation - or failing to produce it. As he puts it: 
According to psychologists, people are more likely to perceive something as true when it’s familiar and hence easy to think about. The underlying measure is called “cognitive fluency”. ...
‘Clear and easy’ documentation is seen as truthful, the product as reliable and the manufacturer as professional. The inverse seems true, too: As the medium is the message, readers struggling with obscure fonts “unwittingly transfer that sense of difficulty onto the topic they’re reading about.”

In my line of work, the editing and/or QA process is neglected in favor of speed or just "getting something out there." This attitude is frustrating on many levels, but the above is even more proof that with bad documentation you reap what you sow.

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