New – Affective Assistance and marketing writing services

Cherryleaf’s announced a new service today – Affective Assistance and marketing writing services .

With technology becoming part of everyday life, sometimes the traditional approach to writing user documentation just doesn’t meet users’ needs. It can be the case that the formal and succinct approach to writing User Assistance isn’t right for users of your product or service.

It’s often about adding an emotional factor, being more conversational and less formal. It’s something we call “Affective Writing” or “Affective Assistance”. You can see this approach being used in the online User Assistance for applications such Firefox, where they reported a 13% reduction in the number support calls as a result of adopting this approach.

Consumer technology today:

Consumer technology in previous decades:

See Affective Assistance and marketing writing services .

The secret, other life of a Technical Author – as a singer

The ISTC is introducing a new feature for their InfoPlus+ newsletter called “My other life”. The idea is for technical communicators to write about their hobbies or about things they do in their spare time, which perhaps give them life skills that apply in the workplace.

For two of Cherryleaf’s staff, music and singing play a key part in their other lives. Carol Johnston is a member of Thame Chamber Choir, and Ginny Critcher is a member of Brighton Gospel Choir. They are also both pianists.

Indeed, Ginny is taking part in the Brighton Festival Fringe this month, when her choir performs “Brighton goes Gospel” at Hove Town Hall on Saturday 21st May.

Perhaps there’s a strong connection between music, singing and technical writing?

Learning technical writing in twenty minutes

In January 2011, a Westminster girls school ran an event showcasing professions that use written communication skills. They asked if somone from Cherryleaf could talk about being a Technical Author.

We decided the best way was to take parts from our training writing courses, and teach them about technical writing. Here’s what we covered:

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We’re speaking at UA Europe 2011

We’ve been invited to speak at UA Europe 2011, which is being held in Brighton on 16th-17th June. Ellis Pratt will be speaking on:  You win! Getting users to RTFM using techniques from games.

It’s claimed that games are a powerful way of affecting user behaviour, so can we apply game theory to the provision of User Assistance and increase its uptake?

In this presentation, we’ll look at games such as Frequent Flyer Programmes, Google AdWords, as well as more recognisable games software. We’ll look at what makes makes some successful and others failures.

We’ll also look at how organisations are today applying game techniques to Web sites, Help files and support communities, in order to drive a positive response, participation and engagement from their users.

We hope to see you there.

The Cherryleaf Website has had a makeover

The main Cherryleaf website has had a makeover. The main changes you’ll notice, at the moment, are to the “look and feel” of the site. Changes to the content will come next. Behind the scenes, we’ve added new functionality for adding job vacancies to the site, which means it will take less time to post new vacancies. It also gives us the capability to add Web 2.0 features in the future. The site was developed in-house.

Do let us know what you think of it.

Here are some of our recent videos

Here’s a playlist of recent videos we’ve put together. To play a video, click on the title of the video.

UPDATE: For some reason, the playlist does not appear when you view this post on our blog’s Home page. If you click on the title of this blog post, and view the post itself, you’ll see the list. If you can see the playlist above the video box, then ignore this update.

Videos – you can use the black scroll bar on the right to move up and down the list

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Speaker profile page for Ellis Pratt

As we’re being invited to speak at an increasing number of conferences, meetings and events, we’ve added a speaker profile page for Ellis Pratt to the Cherryleaf Web site.

Ranked the most influential blogger on technical communication in Europe, Ellis Pratt is a specialist in the field of creating knowledge users will love.

Presentations include:

  • Getting the “document monkey” off your back
  • Documentation as an emotional experience for the user
  • What can other professions teach us about the future for Support and Technical Documentation?
  • Ten trends in technical communication for 2010 and beyond
  • Goodbye to writing user manuals; hello to creating and sharing knowledge
  • Building a successful career as a technical communicator
  • Recruiting a Technical Author
  • Delivering documentation in a downturn
  • The Social Web – 5 key steps for business success
  • Why won’t anyone RTFM?