Technical Communicators (aka Instruction Whisperers) are haunted by a great deal of creepy/funny stories. Let us share some ghostly nightmares of our own.
Be our guest and treat yourself to:
By Orysia Gaba
Jeez, what keeps you awake at night?
Most of us think that movies and comics are the only places where real heroes dwell. We believe that these mysterious guys just come from nowhere to save the day, and then disappear till the next time when everything goes completely wrong.
But that is not how it actually works. Real heroes surround us, and we meet them every day while commuting, working, or even drinking tea at the nearby restaurant.
I started my career as an Information Developer not so long ago. I never worked in the field of technical communication before and never thought that someday I would give it a try. So, as Bryan Adams sings, ‘Here I am, this is me’. I have not acquired any extensive experience yet, but still, I think that I can share some discoveries made during my debut in this position.
As Information Developers, we need to perfect the skill of writing well, and the scope of our writing is not limited only by creating technical instructions. We should be equally good at creating web content, articles, or blog posts. Besides, one day we might even need to write some sort of a document that we have never dealt with before, for example, a business report or promo brochure. In this situation, we can spend hours googling and processing tons of contradictory or ill-structured information. Or, get our hands on the book “Be a better writer. Tips to improve your writing – no matter what you write!” by Suzanne Lieurance, saving us time and giving us quick directions.
In the previous post, we discussed who user personas are and why they are important for Information Developers, considered key elements that should be included into a persona card, and reviewed a user persona sample card.
In this article, I will provide steps on how to create user personas, share some practical tips, discuss how Information Developer can apply user personas, as well as give references for further reading.
“Personas are a way to give the user a seat at the table every time.” Kendra Shimmell
For decades, the concept of user personas has been associated with marketing, advertising, user-centered design, and business analysis. Nowadays, personas are winning the deserved attention of Information Developers worldwide.
Usually, the creation of user personas is initiated by UI/UX designers or business analysts. But what if you do not have any in your team? In my project, I created user personas myself and was surprised how it changed the quality of my content.
Deep understanding of readers is fundamental to creating qualitative and effective content.
In this article, I am going to review and consider user personas from the perspective of an Information Developer.
Without a moment’s hesitation, I can name the most stressful phase of documentation development. It’s pre-publishing. The tension grows when you realize the importance of the release. You try to do your best, but very often the stress plays a trick with you. You neglect misprints, broken links, and messed up page numbering. And these minor mistakes can make a huge trouble for you.
To be sure that your document is of the superb quality, follow the pre-publishing checklist. It covers every troublesome aspect of document pre-publishing and will help you not to miss a thing.
Searching for ways to improve the usability of your documentation? Consider developing a glossary!
Already have one? Look for ways to enhance your glossary in this post.
… people don’t buy quarter-inch drill bits.
They buy quarter-inch holes
so they can hang their children’s pictures.
‘Made to Stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath
A young and passionate CEO carefully crafts new strategy that will revolutionize the company standing and even the industry itself, yet his brilliant idea falls on the deaf ears of the stakeholders.
A dedicated scientist discovers a dead-sure cure for an untreatable disease, yet the scientific community dismisses the idea and leaves thousands of ill people in the dark although their lives could so easily have changed for better.
The marketing department of a food chain finds a customer success story that will make into a beautiful campaign for the brand, yet the management shrugs off the idea 15 minutes into the presentation.
It doesn’t have to be all that tragic, and contrary to what is seems, the actual villain here is not at all the thick-skinned management.