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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Diagram Series: How to survive a technical review

How on earth can anyone make sense of this technical review (see figure #1), apply mysterious comments, and deliver a valuable visual?

Figure #1 (Click to enlarge)

For an experienced Information Developer impossible becomes possible 🙂 How? During the technical review, pay attention how your SME corrects the following elements:

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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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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.

giphy

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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Diagram Series: Pitfalls of interviews with SMEs

Look at the following broken-line graph (Figure #1). How much time do you need to create one? 5 – 10 minutes? How about two days?

Figure #1 (Click to enlarge)

Now, if I provide an estimate of two days for creating a graph, my Customer will expect to receive a 3D visualization, in color. Then, where is the problem? Why creating a graph with a few broken lines might take that much time?

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