Guide to lightweight docs: layout & structuring tips

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!

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Stay trendy in the technical communication world

The world of technical communication is closely intertwined with the advancements in technologies and ways of doing business. The dynamism of the Information Developer profession presupposes that your ability to initiate and embrace the change will greatly help you in achieving a truly innovative approach to your work. This thought prompted me to do a little investigation on technical writing trends of 2018 to familiarize myself with the state of affairs in the industry. After all, forewarned is forearmed, right? Continue reading

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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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.

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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.