Is storytelling the same as writing well? How to write a concise yet interesting API guide? Is there a way to keep a help system offhand and casual without using humor? All this and much more in my presentation!
No matter what you’re writing—whether it’s a small tooltip or a long web article—you need to thoroughly check your writing before you publish it.
Good writing is not just about spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, though we definitely need to keep them in mind at all times, among like… a million other things.
During UI text review, InfoDevs point out things that non-professional writers would never think to think about. Today, I’d like to talk about the most typical things that we stumble upon during the UI text review.
Brace yourselves – it’s going to be a long article but a 100% practical one and so worth a read! We’re going to discuss 6 reasons why Dropbox feature descriptions did not pass our UI text review.
Our first impression is often made up by how we are greeted for the first time. In apps, the conventional ‘hello, nice to meet you’ is its onboarding. But like with all conventional things, this is something that we tend to rush through, or even skip entirely.
For example, by the time I downloaded the Dropbox app, I already had a good experience with the web version. I was impatient to start using the app and decided to ignore the onboarding. Come on, Dropbox. You know me, I know you. It’s official—I have an account, after all. Let’s just get to business.
However, when I downloaded a mobile app that was relatively new for me—Inbox by Google—I did pay attention to the onboarding. And I stumbled… Continue reading
Reception of your content largely depends on the first impression that it creates for your audience. Within milliseconds of interaction with your document, your users decide whether this is an instruction that is likely to help them work or make their head hurt.
Discover a few simple illustrated tips on how to style your content in a modern and light way!
Are you in the mood for LOVE?
We wanted to make something special for you this year…
Share these valentines with your colleagues in techcomm to let them know just how much you appreciate them!
Cherish the docs guys 😉
Proudly presenting the slides from my talk at Write the Docs Europe 2017, now on SlideShare!
Plus, fresh recording of the live talk.
For those of you who missed it, here’s a short intro.
Every doc that you deliver is as useful as the requirements it satisfies. Typical requirements revolve around target audience, method of delivery, technical limitations. But after the doc is done, then come unexpected expectations. John – your key stakeholder – dislikes clichés like corporate templates and wants to stand out with neat Apple-styled docs. Also, it was a mistake to tell him about similar ‘really cool docs’ you already did for his colleague Jane because apparently they don’t get along well, and now he proudly decided that he won’t mimic her decisions… Suddenly, your docs should not only make users happy, but also help your stakeholders achieve their aims – move up a career ladder, impress the manager, get a bigger paycheck. The success of your docs depends on requirements that you are never told but are still expected to meet. This presentation is about reading your stakeholders and deducing the ultimate requirements.
Was it worth 2 flights and 2 train rides just to get there? Yes.
Did I feel light-headed from all the modern technologies for content handling? Yes.
Has my brain been reloaded? Many times yes.
I really am still speechless from all the interesting stuff going on in content world.
What’s even more exciting is that you don’t only listen about it, but can try it yourself. Oh OK, no more spoilers.
Just make sure you book your ticket for the next year! See you there!
Most technical communicators I know can be divided into 2 types.
There are the ones who love creating general About/Welcome sections in their docs and get off on illustrating workflows, business value, etc.
And then, the ones who need a whole cake and then some to coax themselves into writing overviews and designing diagrams. It’s much easier for this type to write instructions about tangible, down-to-earth, even techy stuff.
My friend Viktoria Bezsmolna is the definitive type 1. Still, this free-spirited girl landed in our InfoDev department. But soon enough, she eloped to marketing. And then to PR. Now, she is a freelance writer and has her own blog – yay!
I finally decided to get to the bottom of how this journey worked out for her.
Our 1,5-hour interview was very thought-provoking, and here’s how it all summed up in my head.
To all my underappreciated hard-working
InfoDevs in the world, I dedicate this
dead man’s chest of doc cases.
And a bottle of rum. Harr!
‘No one ever reads documentation, why bother with it?’
Favorite opening line of any techie, heard every time when I introduce myself as an Information Developer. I hope I don’t burn in hell when I say that more often than not, I as an Information Developer agree.
In her recent post, Natalia Bortkevych very astutely described the typical cases of SME interviews gone wrong.
In truth, when the subject is confusing enough in itself, it helps little to have an SME who has aversion to human race or talks in the “codish” variety of English.
Still, even if your SME is able in every way – approachable, knowledgeable, adorable – it’s no guarantee they will be willing to grant you an interview or a review if they are busy, even if you sorely need it. On the other hand, if you are disposed pleasantly towards each other and get along well, they’re bound to be more cooperative.
And while there are many tips and techniques for building that connection with your SME, sometimes it just happens naturally. It’s much like falling in love – you just have to find the right person.
We have designed this test to help you find out what kind of SME is your natural match!