In this month’s edition (confusingly dated January 2013) of PC Pro magazine, Stuart Andrews explores the role of technical writer, the person behind technical documentation. In the short article, he interviews Ginny Critcher, Director at Cherryleaf, who explains the highs and lows of working as a Technical Author.
The more sharp eyed visitors to the Cherryleaf Web site may have noticed our company logo has almost disappeared off the site. That’s because we have just signed off on a new logo that will be revealed shortly.
This gives the opportunity for a little bit of fun – can you guess what our new logo will look like?
not our new logo
The prize – proof of your good taste and evidence of your psychic powers! It’s just for fun.
Simply use the comments box below to make your guess. You can guess both the type of imagery and the colours.
We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary today. Thank you if you have been a customer, employee, job candidate or supplier during that period. If you’ve not worked with us yet, then hopefully we will in the future – thanks in anticipation of that.
In some ways, little has changed since November 2002. Organisations still need to deliver clear and simple content their users and staff love. We still deal with user-focused content for software, medical equipment or IT hardware, as well as policies and procedures. Our services have remained essentially the same, as well: recruitment, content development, consulting and training services.
Over the last 10 years, probably the biggest developments have been using the Web, video and wikis to deliver information. Now, with analytics, we can measure the value of documentation more accurately.
Looking forward, we’ve a few things planned to coincide with our anniversary. Some, such as hosting webinars, have already been launched. Others should appear shortly. We seek to challenge and improve ourselves, to work with more customers. So our toast today is: to a successful future.
Cherryleaf’s Ginny Critcher has been interviewed by PC Pro Magazine about the role of the Technical Author today.
Ginny has extensive project management skills and has considerable experience using the main technical authoring tools. She is fluent in Spanish, has an MSc (in Information Systems), a BA (in Spanish Studies) and an RSA TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate.
The article should be published in the December edition of the magazine.
Ellis Pratt will be speaking at the STC Summit, 20-23 May 2012, which is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosemont, Chicago, IL. If you’re going to the conference, then we look forward to meeting you.
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.
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?