We also do songs!

Not White Arrow per se, but White Arrow’s principal, Alex , is a lyricist. Check out “Louise”: music Al Tuck, lyrics Alex Rettie, performed by Al Tuck.

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Is a user’s guide good for training end users?

Well, no. It’s not.

A software or hardware user’s guide is meant to answer questions that come up during the use of the product.

A learner’s package (whether printed, video, online, or some combination) is meant to accompany or serve in the place of live instruction.

It helps learners acquire crucial skills for the tasks they do, rather than acting as a reference for any task they might do.

Would you use a dictionary as a textbook for English-language learners? Of course not.

So why rely on a user’s guide to do a job it’s not designed to do?

A learner’s package can come in many different forms, and creating one doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition.

If you need help, feel free to contact our principal, Alex Rettie, at or (403) 660-2589.


Posted in Blog

Chunk it up!

What do avant-garde poetry, remedial reading instruction and effective software training have in common?

They all take large pieces of information and break it down (“chunk it up” we used to say when I was teaching kids how to read multisyllable words) into manageable pieces.

Too often, software instruction replaces real chunking of information with numbering, or white space, or headings.

Big mistake — discrete pieces of information require discrete physical or virtual homes.

Check out the poetry of Lev Rubinstein for an example of how chunking builds meaning.

Or, if that’s not your thing, talk to White Arrow about how to apply the principle to your training and other end-user communication projects.

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Open for business!

Welcome to White Arrow Writing and Instructional Services. Watch this space for news about our projects and services, and thoughts from our principal, Alex Rettie, on writing, training and other topics dear to his heart. In the meantime, feel free to contact him at or (403) 660-2589.

Posted in Blog