Nintendo patents new Help/User Assistance system

Various computer games magazines are reporting news of a Nintendo patent for providing user assistance to players during a game. The patent describes “Demo Play”, which is intended to keep casual players interested in complex games in a way that doesn’t conflict with hardcore gamers’ requirements. Advanced players can play normally, while less experienced players can get the occasional helping hand. Hints will appear… Read more »

Is search dying? Your manual within 140 characters?

Internet Psychologist Graham Jones wrote an article last week, in which he stated, search is dying, and is being replaced by sharing information socially. “So worried is Microsoft about Google that they haven’t realised that Google is not their real competition any more. It is the likes of Twitter and Ecademy…Google already knows this. Much… Read more »

“It’s so intuitive, it doesn’t need an instruction manual.”

I told someone yesterday that there was one piece of technology that was so intuitive it didn’t need an instruction manual. I was talking about the traditional fixed wire telephone. It turns out I was wrong.  A quick search on YouTube revealed there was a major education campaign in the 1920s and 30s, instructing the… Read more »

What can Technical Authors learn from celebrity chefs and musicians?

We wrote recently about the Attention Economy and the challenges faced by technical publications departments. So what about other business sectors that are facing similar problems – can we learn from them? Andrew Savikas has been looking at some of the ways in which the Publishing industry, aspiring young musicians and celebrity chefs have been… Read more »

Why you should write Help for your competitors’ products

At our “Developing your career as a technical author”  course yesterday there was a great discussion about meeting the needs of “Generation Y” – the part of the working population under 27 who have grown up with the Internet. It’s a group that makes up about 13% of the working population. We talked about the… Read more »