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.

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Multitasking: not only inefficient, but also harmful

The myth of multitasking is one of the traps most of us fall into, especially in the office environment. Multitasking is a trendy skill in numerous job descriptions. It seems, the world needs super-duper multitaskers at all times. It was also presumed that those who appear effective in multitasking have superior brain function as well as better control of their thinking stream. Is such presumption true? Is multitasking really effective? And how does it influence our productivity and mental state? Recent studies show negative results. So, if you are checking your messages while reading this article or jumping from one web page to another, just stop for a moment. Continue reading

Voice-Over Preparedness Drill

Remember that Big Bang Theory episode with Sheldon Cooper and his Emergency Preparedness Drill? It may not be necessary to take your preparedness to such an extreme level, although with voice-overs, you should definitely be ready for whatever comes up, especially if you’ve never done them before. I’d like to share with you my experience and some stumbling blocks on the way as well as tips on how to step them over.

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Requirements that you didn’t know were there (Write the Docs Europe 2017)

Proudly presenting the slides from my talk at Write the Docs Europe 2017, now on SlideShare!

Plus, fresh recording of the live talk.

For those of you who missed it, here’s a short intro.

Every doc that you deliver is as useful as the requirements it satisfies. Typical requirements revolve around target audience, method of delivery, technical limitations. But after the doc is done, then come unexpected expectations. John – your key stakeholder – dislikes clichés like corporate templates and wants to stand out with neat Apple-styled docs. Also, it was a mistake to tell him about similar ‘really cool docs’ you already did for his colleague Jane because apparently they don’t get along well, and now he proudly decided that he won’t mimic her decisions… Suddenly, your docs should not only make users happy, but also help your stakeholders achieve their aims – move up a career ladder, impress the manager, get a bigger paycheck. The success of your docs depends on requirements that you are never told but are still expected to meet. This presentation is about reading your stakeholders and deducing the ultimate requirements.

What if? Localizing a help system: coping tactics

What if a Technical Communicator without localization experience was commissioned a localization task? What if they accepted without being familiar with the localization guidelines? What if they failed? There are no definite answers to these questions, but the one, which is for sure certain, is that certain guidelines are to be followed. So, let’s take a look at what major problems and potential pitfalls may come up on the way of a Technical Communicator challenged to complete a task in which they haven’t gained enough experience yet.

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How to outsmart a creative block

I was going to write this post much earlier. However, each time I got down to it, I was either distracted by whatever I saw in my timelines or just seemed not to have enough inspiration to kick-start the process.

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Some people call it a creative block, some – a lack of inspiration, others blame laziness or a habit to procrastinate till the very last night before the deadline. No matter what it is, for an information developer such a non-creative state may sound like a nightmare, as we need bright ideas and resourcefulness like a breath of fresh air. But if you happen to feel unproductive at times, there are some tricks which may help you to find your muse again.

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