The user through the Technical Author’s eyes?

This is what their end users look like:

1990
This is their users’ relationship with technology:1990s mobile phoneMore fashion faux pas:

1990s

If this looks like scenes from 1990, you’d be right. So why might technical communicators be seeing users as they were in the early 1990s? It’s because the key principles of technical communication haven’t really changed in over 23 years. Minimalism, the most recent of the principles used in technical communication, was released in 1990.

Of course, there are many situations where we do things in the same way as we did in the 1990s. The way we repair airplanes, maintain power stations and install heavy engineering are essentially the same.

However, when it comes to our relationship with technology, we’ve seen the introduction of the Internet and computers become part of our daily lives.

Unless technical communicators measure the value of the content they produce and verify the principles they use are still valid today, there’s a danger they’ll find our that their users have changed, with them effectively stuck in the 1990s.

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