Podcast 119: Trends in technical communication for 2022 and beyond

It’s that time of year for us to gaze into our crystal ball and share your and our predictions for the future of technical communication for 2022 and beyond.

 

Via LinkedIn

Wouter Veeken

Software/API Tech Writer at Booking.com

Unprecedented talent shortages

 

Robert Powers

Senior Technical Writer

Leading to more automation of basic writing/editing function accompanied by further fragmentation into more specialized disciplines, such as content strategy, UX writing, information architecture.

 

Ashish Gupta

Techcomm and Content Strategy, VOC Content, Project Management | Adobe, IIT Bombay networks

Add content validation, production, audit, localization systems to the automation list as well.

 

Marianne Crowder

Freelance technical writer and product owner

The right to repair legislation may create more demand for consumer-facing docs in hardware sectors. Short form video could work well for that market, as long as it’s made accessible with subtitles etc.

 

Maaike Groenewege

Conversation designer | Linguist | Content architect | Women in Conversational

Natural language interfaces, voice interfaces & a return of semantic technology.

 

Susan Doran

Product Information Manager at Atlas Copco

AI and late or no binding- just delivering topics

 

Christian Welter

tekom-certified technical writer with broad knowledge of management topics in technical communication and a strong enthusiasm for technology and digitalization. // Part of the target group of my documentation.

AI

 

Dipesh Choubisa | Researcher | Scholarly Reader

Soon, guides and help topics will be seen in microcopy or media within UI. Insights and analytics-based writing will prevail to customize. Editor apps will increase suggestions and adopt AI to automate writeups. Evolutions will be seen in the methods and terminologies.

 

Danielle M. Villegas, MSPTC

Technical Communicator specializing in Content Design, UX, Technical Writing and Editing, and Instructional Design. 2021 STC Distinguished Chapter Service Award winner.

I see a continued need for plain language and globalization/localization. Structured authoring, as much as it has been touted for a couple decades now, it still barely getting traction, but that’s growing. Less of an emphasis on knowing techno-babble and more emphasis on actually writing clear, concise, and cogent content.

 

Abdul Ghani Shahzaib

Technical Writer || Technical Proposal Writer

It is becoming one of the essentials of all the technical fields since we are adapting remote norms more progressively. Technical writing is transforming into non-verbal authoring and creating a long-lasting impact. UX writing will become the expression of tomorrow.

 

Via Twitter

Adrian Warman

Multiple media types to enrich and enhance, beyond text.

Increasing automation and dynamic customization for genuinely personalized information.

Greater demand for evidence of effectiveness in communication objectives.

Exponential growth in ratio of meta to data.

 

Craig Wright – Tech Writer

Gut feelings…

More API docs tech writers needed. Tech writers to be more associated with those than before.

More tech writers moving into content design and ux writing due to opportunities there.

 

Charlotte Claussen

Agreed. In fact, I see this pattern already.

If people have ever heard about something called “technical writing”, they associate it with developer docs.

I for one will be moving into other areas, as I’m interested in other types of technical communication.

 

Craig Wright – Tech Writer

Same here. I have zero interest in doing API docs. Copywriters and UX writers seem to transition to content design a lot and tech writers are left out of the equation largely. Yet a lot of us have the info design background (sometimes masters and u.g degrees) in it.

 

Helen Mullally

Technical writing blends well with XD or UX writing. I wonder if we’ll see more tech writers in voice-activated interface writing?

 

Starfall Projects

Personally I’d love to see more tech writers involved in both API docs and API design . . . whether it’ll happen . . .

 

Glenn Lea

Video production as a required skill.

 

Rahel Anne Bailie

More granular/molecular content, and the need to manage it outside of tools meant for casual business use (Google docs, Word), so adapting tools such as HATs for that, and the need for a tech writer to run the software and manage the repository. So, slowly more opportunities.

 

Charlotte Claussen

In software, I see an increased focus on accessibility and inclusion. It has long been something professionals talk about. Now it’s something companies invest in.

 

Raj

But all these apply to native English writers.

 

Vinish Garg

The API docs are likely to become a part of product itself and tech writers with skills in API docs should be in high demand. The conventional Help Center might continue to struggle in the same fight between support, marketing (conversations, customer touch point), positioning.

Via the Write the Docs Slack channel

mashuk

A continued increase in API writing and improving the API UX (user experience) or developer experience esp. in UK gov sector more and more govt. depts are opening up APIs

Our thoughts

Onboarding – Move of help to UI. This will also affect developer portals and APIs.

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