Myths about information development: Busted

People tend to create stereotypes about things they don’t have much insight into. I broke into information development from a different industry, and I’d like to share my own experience of mythbusting. 

Before starting my career as an Information Developer, I was a translator and had little awareness of the role and its responsibilities. As a philosopher once said, “Theory without practice is empty”, and I’m glad I got a chance to fill the void and break my stereotypes during the first month of practical experience. Let me share some of them with you. Continue reading

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Prototyping: InVision Experience

As an Asian saying goes, it is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.  When somebody describes you some concept you can try to imagine each tiny detail, every piece of the whole, each brick in the wall, but there is always a thing that somehow slips your mind.

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Video

Microsoft Manual of Style vs. Microsoft Writing Style Guide

Since its first publication in 1995, the Microsoft Manual of Style has been a Holy Grail of editorial wisdom for rookie and experienced tech writers alike.  In January, Microsoft released a new edition—the Microsoft Writing Style Guide. How different are the 2012 version we’ve been relying on for the past few years and the 2018 one? Let’s take a quick glance.

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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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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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Content journey: from technical to marketing and social media

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.

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