The future of technical documentation: shinier or cheaper?

If you are developing technical documentation, are you moving towards a future of shinier, more interesting outputs? Do you see a future or iBooks-like documents and online content that adapts to each user?

Or are you moving in a direction of improved efficiency, being able to deliver documents at lower cost and in less time?

Shinier or cheaper?

Alternatively, will DITA deliver on its promise of technical authors being able to do both?

What do you think?


Larry Kunz

Shinier or cheaper? Both, but mostly cheaper, because now and for the foreseeable future this is what most companies are willing to pay for.

The rock stars of our profession will be those who figure out how to provide shiny and cheap. It’s possible — and, yes, I think that DITA will play a significant role in making it so.

Thanks for a great, thought-provoking post, Ellis.


A rock star technical writer must be able to figure out the fine balance between shinier or cheaper.. DITA is slightly overrated because it is still struggling to deliver on its promises of being the “easy” option … DITA is a misfit for start-ups where content delivery is important than the actual delivery mechanism..
I would vote for other open source alternatives over DITA.

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