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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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.

What do you miss when you ignore industry conferences?

You are a writer, technical writer, technical communicator, information developer. Why should you care about IT or other industry-specific conferences if you have powerful conferences going on in TechComm?

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Chatbots are coming. Why should InfoDevs care?

From today’s perspective, the chatbots advancement and popularity may not be as revolutionary as expected by the enthusiasts a few years back. Anyway, the number of bots on various platforms has grown to such an extent that we can now speak of chatbots as a new way of user assistance that Information Developers should be aware of.

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