Logical thinking is high on the list of qualities expected from any Information Developer. But what exactly is “being logical”? If my writing is seemingly clear and makes sense to anyone who reviewed it, am I thinking logically? My layman’s definition of “logical” used to be “making sense”, but recently the book “Logic made easy” has come my way and added a lot to my understanding. Continue reading
Famous designer Yves Saint Laurent once said: “Trends come and go, but style is eternal”. Although the quote is exclusively about fashion, I cannot but extrapolate it to the world of user experience.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Book Review.
In the last decades, motivation literature has flourished to an unprecedented extent. This is a cultural phenomenon that cannot be missed: people have become interested in self-development, constant improvement, and success. “Ah, yes, success…”— you may sneer skeptically just as I did when I first saw the name of the book. Yet, behind the mainstream title, I found deep thoughts that are applicable in my life journey.
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!
In the ever-changing work environment, Information Developers must constantly acquire new skills to stay professionally relevant. I assume that we all have our learning strategies and strive for perfection. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. But how often do we give up the mere idea of learning just because we remember the popular theory of 10.000 hours of practice that inevitably separates us form perfection?
Today I would like to share my impression of the book “The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast” by Josh Kaufman, one of the world’s top 100 business authors. In his book, Kaufman explains that quick acquisition of any practical skill is possible within just 20 hours – or even less. The book, first published in 2013, became a bestseller right away. Since then, the idea that quick learning is possible keeps making a significant shift in the minds of aspiring learners. Continue reading
As Information Developers, we need to perfect the skill of writing well, and the scope of our writing is not limited only by creating technical instructions. We should be equally good at creating web content, articles, or blog posts. Besides, one day we might even need to write some sort of a document that we have never dealt with before, for example, a business report or promo brochure. In this situation, we can spend hours googling and processing tons of contradictory or ill-structured information. Or, get our hands on the book “Be a better writer. Tips to improve your writing – no matter what you write!” by Suzanne Lieurance, saving us time and giving us quick directions.
When you read the phrase ‘Move with the cheese’, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Cheddar? Mice? Monterey Jack? And another question: How do you react to changes? Anticipate them? Let them come by and immediately come along? Sit down and cry? If you pondered on answering those questions, you must be wondering, what on Earth this post is going to be about.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And while reading the actual book may be the ‘proper’ thing to do, you can always get away with visuals & short summaries just to get a quick and easy grasp of what the whole thing is about. With that in mind, I’d like to share some of the resources based on Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath that we reviewed in one of our previous posts.
When reading, I’m always trying on ideas, researching how my work can benefit from literally anything. Designers are perceived as communication specialists. So are we, information developers. I stumbled upon Graphic Design for the 21st Century, and it inspired me to create these concept-cards, that will, maybe, resonate with you.
… people don’t buy quarter-inch drill bits.
They buy quarter-inch holes
so they can hang their children’s pictures.
‘Made to Stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath
A young and passionate CEO carefully crafts new strategy that will revolutionize the company standing and even the industry itself, yet his brilliant idea falls on the deaf ears of the stakeholders.
A dedicated scientist discovers a dead-sure cure for an untreatable disease, yet the scientific community dismisses the idea and leaves thousands of ill people in the dark although their lives could so easily have changed for better.
The marketing department of a food chain finds a customer success story that will make into a beautiful campaign for the brand, yet the management shrugs off the idea 15 minutes into the presentation.
It doesn’t have to be all that tragic, and contrary to what is seems, the actual villain here is not at all the thick-skinned management.