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.

Target audience: Millennials

When writing documentation, target audience is one of the first things on mind of an information developer. Audience determines what deliverable to choose, as well as what style and tone to apply to it. Wrong idea of the target audience’s needs may result in total failure of documentation. Therefore, a good information developer should be aware of every possible target user. Having deep knowledge of the product, understanding the aim of the documentation and the audience – their needs, possibilities, desires, and preferences, results in a masterpiece documentation.
So, how do we know what our target user wants? The answer is research! And I did a little research of my own on one of the most fast-growing generations in history. Millennials. So, let’s have a closer look at them and try to do our best to meet their expectations.

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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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