Linear User Guide: Is It any Good?

Many believe that written user guides are doomed to extinction. Although their usage has diminished slightly, they are not clean gone yet. They are still with us—serving their particular audience and making us wonder what is the best approach to structuring them.

With the rise in the popularity of online documentation, many have ditched linearity and adopted a topic-based approach to writing—faster, more convenient, and definitely more efficient from the user perspective; absolutely challenging from the author perspective. But is such an approach still any good for structuring user guides which, unlike help systems, don’t provide immediate assistance to the user, differ in the very context of use, and are designed with a clear intention—to teach and guide?

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Diagram Series: Troubleshooting

If you read my previous articles from the Diagram Series, you are already familiar with the process of creating diagrams, the role of text in diagrams, practical tips, and so on. Now let’s see how to troubleshoot issues that accompany you from the first drawing and to the final approved diagram.

The most informed people to create diagrams are SMEs, yet they are the least appropriate for this role.

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UX copywriting series. Action vs. non-action in app onboarding

Our first impression is often made up by how we are greeted for the first time. In apps, the conventional ‘hello, nice to meet you’ is its onboarding. But like with all conventional things, this is something that we tend to rush through, or even skip entirely.

For example, by the time I downloaded the Dropbox app, I already had a good experience with the web version. I was impatient to start using the app and decided to ignore the onboarding. Come on, Dropbox. You know me, I know you. It’s official—I have an account, after all. Let’s just get to business.

However, when I downloaded a mobile app that was relatively new for me—Inbox by Google—I did pay attention to the onboarding. And I stumbled… Continue reading

Everyone can make presentations. But how to make them extraordinary?

Nowadays, public speaking is a crucial skill, which can help you greatly in communicating your ideas to various audiences, be it your team members, customers, or a group of people interested in educational camp on Information Development. Whether you like public speaking or not, chances are you will need it, and when the time comes, it’s better to be prepared with a good neat presentation and the accompanying story than read text from slides, or, what’s worse, mumble words hoping to end it all fast as can be. If the last words strike a chord with you, then the book Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations by Dan Roam may be just for you. Continue reading

Book review: Logic made easy. How to know when language deceives you?

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