There are two mutually exclusive approaches to product design:
- Make customers care about your product – This approach assumes that the product is the goal. It works for products that are entertaining and/or recreational, and is the purview of gamification.
- Acknowledge that your product is a tool that must be used to accomplish something – This is the usual goal of product or documentation design.
In the latter case, the object is to get the customer back to the beach as soon as possible (which is where the customer would like to be, instead of learning how to operate your product). When the product’s design does not immediately communicate its function, the help (documentation, video, or what have you) must smooth over the bumps.
As a technical writer with 30 years of technical experience (including 15 years as a programmer or UNIX system administrator), I integrate with the development team during the design process to help you design a better product. My professional experience as an interface designer helps you to create a better, smoother user experience for your customers, resulting in less need for the documentation and support that is required when a design fails.
I work comfortably with the big picture and the tiny details: I ensure that every API method uses the same parameter structure, and I ensure that the same term is capitalized wherever it appears in your interfaces. My job is to keep your customers so happy that they don’t realize how happy they are.