“Push me, Pull me” dilemma for technical authors

There are a number of posts on various Blogs, at the moment, concerning documents as conversation and moving beyond the traditional manual. Some of the comments suggest implicitly  that technical authors (aka technical writers) could end up having to resolve two conflicting views regarding communicating with users.  The problem is that many technical communicators work in hierarchical organisations where… Read more »

Is the future of education also the future of technical communication?

I stumbled across another great video of Michael Wesch talking about the issues facing educationalists.  Many of the problems they face are the same as those faced by people involved in producing user assistance. The video is here Dubbed “the explainer” by popular geek publication Wired because of his viral YouTube video that summarizes Web… Read more »

Why bother with end user documentation for Web Applications?

In Rahel Bailie’s excellent presentation at the STC Conference (“The New Face of Documentation“), she looked at the “No Documentation” approach to software user assistance. This, she summed up, as the “we don’t document it; we just fix it” view of software development. She argued that a “No Documentation” approach doesn’t lead to no documentation. Users soon… Read more »

How can technical authors become part of technology ecosystems?

Jonathan Mitchener has written an article in Engineering and Technology magazine on the interest of technology providers in creating “ecosystems”. This is the concept of offering not just gadgets but also a range of related products and services, which can integrate seamlessly with each other in an overall system. The poster boy for this ecosystem approach is… Read more »

What should you include in your user documentation?

Technical authors are faced with limited time and resources, so they often are faced with the dilemma as to what to include and what to leave out of their user documentation. You may ask, if 80% read only 20% of the content, is there any value in documenting the rest? Technical Authors are often great… Read more »