Startups don’t need documentation. Stereotype that can cost you

As a startup owner, you care about early validation, seeing if your idea lives or dies. Saving each penny, proving your concept, getting qualified into the race we call market – documentation is the least of your concerns. Heard that, thought that? Me too, but years in product teams and I learnt better –  information can be the bridge between surviving and  thriving.

There are points in your product lifecycle when information can pave the way to product success. The trick  is to pick the right form of documentation and present the information in the most delicious and digestible way.

My assumptions are: your product is usable and smooth in every possible aspect; it brings something new, caters to different types of users, or solves several problems.

Here we go.

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What do you miss when you ignore industry conferences?

You are a writer, technical writer, technical communicator, information developer. Why should you care about IT or other industry-specific conferences if you have powerful conferences going on in TechComm?

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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

Fellows – Information Developers, Technical Communicators, Information Experts – lend me your ears.
When designing knowledge bases, creating documentation portals, or documenting complex interrelations, one forgotten requirement may result in multiple very memorable working evenings.
Consider this precious advice from Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld and always pay heed to these crucial areas.

In short, we need to understand the business goals behind the web site and the resources available for design and implementation. We need to be aware of the nature and volume of content that exists today and how that might change a year from now. And we must learn about the needs and information-seeking behaviors of our major audiences. Good information architecture design is informed by all three areas.

Explore their book Information Architecture for the World Wide Web Peter for more useful tips!

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Future starts now?

Most of our clients’ needs have gone way beyond traditional single-sourcing scheme: write once, generate different outputs in different formats. Don’t get me wrong, we still are the proud owners of User Manuals and Help Systems. But.

Meeting the business demands, the companies have developed an internet of systems that require sophisticated and strategic information management from us, information professionals: CRM, Feedback Management, Support Center, Help Systems, Knowledge Base, embedded user assistance, and packages of miscellaneous documentation.

That’s the reality, but what’s next? The amount of the information is exciting, and some experts envisage that the excitement will turn into shock pretty soon.

The article written by Ray Gallon and Andy McDonald lets you visualize the information management and helps stay prepared.

Meet and greet – age of molecular information is here?

Piktochart: limitations you need to be aware of

As advertised, Piktochart is a really easy-to-use infographic maker.

The story goes: I, an Information Developer, was asked to prepare a Case Study, quickly and in the form of an infographic. Sounds typical. But the branding dictates colors, size, opacity, and styling. Sounds like complex editing. Cheerful me took the friendliest tool and now can share my personal lessons learned.

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