Empathy map: UX practice applied to TechComm

As the IT industry changes introducing new trends and searching to propose more value to a user, technical communication should adapt as well. Technical communicators start searching for better ways to present information and predict all pains to be resolved by the documentation.

One way of doing so is to look for some useful practices outside of technical communication domain. In this article, I would like to briefly introduce a visual practice of empathy mapping that can be adopted into technical communication.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Is the future of techcom in marcom?

At the outset of the new year, everyone is in anticipation of something new: new developments in the industry, new trends, and opportunities. Within techcom, one of the growing trends is the merge with marcom. Slowly gaining momentum, techcom is penetrating into marcom, literally blurring the subtle edges between the two seemingly different genres. There are even those claiming that the future of the techcom industry is in marketing. But what are the touching points between techcom and marcom, what might be the outcome of such a blend, and how will it impact Technical Communicators and the industry as a whole? And finally, is the complete merge of techcom and marcom possible after all? Continue reading

The UA of the Future

We live in a rapidly changing technological world, and it’s no news that virtual, augmented, and mixed realities are gradually transitioning into mainstream usage. Chatbots bombard us from everywhere, and not just for fun—they reshape the way big companies do their businesses. AI and machine learning also drastically changed the game, as now we live along with self-driving cars, robots, face recognitions , and so on. And the predictions for 2018 are going into that direction even more.

Of course, the main reasons for such changes are always the same—better quality of services, higher customer satisfaction, and improved overall experience. In software development, those reasons are better user experience and assistance, as well as more intuitive design.

Nowadays, if you are not the first one to offer something new and innovative, you lose. And what about us, Technical Communicators? Does this mean that with perfect user assistance from the side of the application itself, the era of documentation has to end?

Of course it doesn’t. However, we cannot deny that things are changing and changing fast; the least we can do – be on the same track. Here is an article by Angel Lafchiev where you can find some interesting ideas on the future of user assistance and several pieces of advice on how not to fall out of this evolving tech world.

User Assistance: Resistance Is Futile, You Will Be Assimilated!

And a couple of things from myself.
I truly believe this is not end of an era of technical documentation at all, this is a new stage full of immense opportunities. Design and train chatbots, use VR/AR as an e-learning tool, create more personalised user assistance with the help of metadata and AI, and many more. This is only the beginning, and we, Technical Communicators, cannot miss it.

What realities are out there?

Today’s innovations in the field of computer-generated environment make it possible to experience an exciting journey to the world of other reality with as little as one device. After all, the aphorism “Less is more” goes far beyond the sphere of architecture, where it was initially used. Let’s explore the emerging technologies of virtual, augmented, and mixed realities, and see what can be the use of them in technical communication.

Continue reading

Target audience: Millennials

When writing documentation, target audience is one of the first things on mind of an information developer. Audience determines what deliverable to choose, as well as what style and tone to apply to it. Wrong idea of the target audience’s needs may result in total failure of documentation. Therefore, a good information developer should be aware of every possible target user. Having deep knowledge of the product, understanding the aim of the documentation and the audience – their needs, possibilities, desires, and preferences, results in a masterpiece documentation.
So, how do we know what our target user wants? The answer is research! And I did a little research of my own on one of the most fast-growing generations in history. Millennials. So, let’s have a closer look at them and try to do our best to meet their expectations.

Continue reading