The over optimistic user

On Dara O’Brien’s Science Club (BBC 2) this week, neuroscientist Dr Tali Sharot explained “Optimism Bias”, suggesting that our brains may be hard-wired to look on the bright side. Here is her TED presentation on the Optimism Bias: Nearly everyone is optimistic they will never get divorced, and they are an above average driver, when… Read more »

The importance of content in maximising the value of your business

According to business strategist Dr Alan Rae, it has been calculated that only 15% of the value of a company appears in the balance sheet. The rest is intangible value, which lies in four main areas: Knowledge in people’s heads – skills and tacit knowledge. Formal intellectual property rights – copyrights, patents, trademarks, brand equity etc…. Read more »

Is your Technical Author a “Quant” or a “Pundit”?

The US Presidential elections have just ended, and the big winners were the “Quants” – the statisticians such as Nate Silver, who used statistical models of big data sets to accurately predict the electoral college vote results. In competition with the Quants were the “Pundits”. These were the commentators on politics, some of whom said… Read more »

Even iPad users search for Help

One of the graphs posted in yesterday’s blog showed the number of people searching for IPad Help. Here is the graph: For a product that “just works”, there is an increasing number people searching the Web for iPad Help. However, part of that increase can be put down to the increasing number of iPad sales:… Read more »

5 Whys – what does this mean for Technical Authors?

The “5 Whys” is a question-and-answer technique used to discover the root cause of a defect or problem. It is an approach used in the Lean manufacturing methodology, as well as the Six Sigma business management strategy. Here’s an example of the 5 Whys technique: Problem: The vehicle will not start. Why? – The battery is dead…. Read more »