Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
Meet the new boss
Mark Bernstein, creator of the software I use to write and publish this site, writes Don't Hail Our Computer Overlords Just Yet for The Atlantic. Bernstein's observation about how the invention of books threatened teachers, who worried that students left to their own would confuse themselves and their classmates. Which they did, Bernstein reminds us, "progress has its costs."
Some instructional designers worry about the quality of information that people are finding, and attempting to follow, on the Internet. If you want to know how to accomplish a task in your favorite software, just enter your question into Google and you'll find more answers than you want. Many of them incomplete, contradictory, or just plain wrong. Meanwhile, the authoritative, official, and vetted documentation goes unread, or perhaps completely unfound, having been buried by the hurly burly. Sound familiar, Socrates?