A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Walsh, Ivan

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Are Daily Rates for Technical Writers Collapsing?

My concern for US writers is that they fail to grasp the momentum that counties like India have established and the high quality of university graduates they are now producing. In the next 10-15 years, IT jobs which can be replicated offshore/offsite to lower costs will be embraced more aggressively. US companies have little choice but to do this.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing>Offshoring


Audience Analysis: Power Tools for Technical Writing

Documents fail for many reasons. One common mistake is to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to your audience. This works only when generic material, usually of a non-technical nature.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>Audience Analysis


Choosing the Right Style Guide

Style guides can improve the quality and presentation of documentation. They establish a layer of professionalism that may not have been there before. They also reduce arguments and ‘loose cannons’ within the department, as the style guide becomes the acknowledged reference. There are at least four points to consider when selecting a style guide.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2007). Articles>Editing>Style Guides>Standards


Five Reasons Why Women Are Better Technical Writers Than Men?

Maybe I’ve been very lucky but I believe women are far better as technical writers than men. Here are five areas where I think they have the edge of the guys.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>Gender


Good Information Architecture Increases Online Sales

This article explains how information architecture can impact the sales process, and how and effective information architecture can help a site flourish.

Walsh, Ivan. SitePoint (2003). Design>Web Design>Information Design>E Commerce


How Outsourcing Can Boost Your Tech Writing Career

Most technical writers see outsourcing as a real threat. But, if you look at it from another angle, it’s one huge business opportunity.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing>Outsourcing


How Tai Chi Will Make You a Better Technical Writer

You can get away with this in your 20s, but as you get older you need to take greater care of your health. I really hate jogging (: and looked for an alternative form of exercise. I found Tai Chi.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Writing (2010). Articles>Writing>Ergonomics>Technical Writing


How to Change 100 Screenshots to the Same Size with a Single Click

All the screenshots in your Word document are different sizes. What’s the quickest way to get them all the same size? Is there a shortcut? Yes!

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Articles>Document Design>Image Editing>Microsoft Word


How to Interview Tech Writers

Jane R. in Texas asks for some tips on interviewing tech writers, especially when using assessment tests. Her company is about to hire their first full-time writer and they have not done this before. I’ve worked on both sides on the fence in the past, (i.e. interviewed and been interviewed) and picked up a few tings in the process. Hopefully, these will be of some help.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2007). Careers>Management>Interviewing>Technical Writing


How to Make Business Process Flowcharts Easier to Read

How to diagram large, complex business processe by using off-page Connectors

Walsh, Ivan. Klariti (2011). Articles>Software>Business Case


How To Write Documents Faster

Most people don’t know what the AutoCorrect feature in Word really does. I use to correct the document AS I WRITE and to enter long strings of text automatically.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Articles>Word Processing>Editing>Microsoft Word


How Twitter Will Make You A Better Writer

What does Twitter tell you about your writing skills? Can it really make you a better writer? Here's some tactics to use Twitter to be a better writer.

Walsh, Ivan. Klariti (2011). Articles>Business Communication


I Heart Tech Docs

A technical writing/technical communication weblog with tips, tools and templates for technical writers.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2003). Resources>Documentation>Blogs>Technical Writing


Interview: Dr Michael F Unwalla at TechScribe

TechScribe is a UK-based technical writing company. The principal is Dr Michael F Unwalla, who turned a lifetime dream of running his own business into a reality. Here he talks to Ivan about how TechScribe produces its award-winning documentation.

Walsh, Ivan and Mike Unwalla. Klariti (2010). Articles>Interviews>Technical Writing


Janet Swisher on FLOSS Manuals, Open Source, and Book Sprints

Janet Swisher, who’s worked in technical communication since 1999, is an Information Developer for a medium-sized software company. Her specialist areas include online help, tutorials, API documentation and programmer guides. My “techie” cred is that she “can read code well enough to avoid asking obvious questions, and write code well enough to be dangerous.”

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Articles>Interviews>Technical Writing>Open Source


Seven Steps to Clear Technical Writing

These points are not meant to be all-inclusive. However, if you are new to tech writing, this should put you on the right road.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>Documentation


Society for Technical Communications tries to define Technical Communicator and Fails

Maybe the confusion that surrounds the STC is its inability to define who it serves. Maybe the STC is trying to drum up support and be more inclusive.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Articles>TC>Standards>STC


Stop Your Technical Documents From Crashing - Part 1

In the world of technical publishing, Microsoft Word also gets a bad rap. Many feel that it’s unstable and crashing. It can also bloat in size until your operating system grinds to a halt. If your Microsoft Word files suddenly become huge and start crashing, here’s a few ways to fix it. I’ve creating some very long technical documents in Microsoft Word and learnt a few ways to control these documents.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Technical Writing (2010). Articles>Writing>Software>Microsoft Word


The The 10 Commandments of Software Maintenance Plans

What’s the best way to write a Software Maintenance plan? Software Maintenance Plans are different than other technical documents in that the focus is on how to modify software AFTER it has been released and is now in operations. Most other documents focus on planning, development or testing.

Walsh, Ivan. Klariti (2011). Articles>Software>Software>Databases


Tips When Writing for the Web

On the web, write in small digestible chucks, which fit into the information hierarchy. To create your hierarchy, outline the website as you would for printed material. Then examine the site’s purpose and outline the main sections (e.g. words people use to navigate) and the links within those heads. Test it before it goes online.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2007). Academic>Web Design>Writing>User Centered Design


Top 50 Technical Writers on the Web

I was preparing a report on freelance technical writers and noticed how hard it was to find technical writing sites run by writers, most were recruitment site. So I’ve made a list of the top 50 technical writers with a web presence. Some of these you might know, such as Darren Barefoot and Tom Johnson. I have also added some other writers from India, Russia and Israel to reach out to a wider audience.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Resources>Directories>Technical Writing


What’s the Best Font for Web Writing?

When I started in tech docs, Times New Roman was THE font for printed manuals. There was no ifs, buts, or maybes about this. Times New Roman. Size 11. Since then other more trendy fonts have come onto the market. Trends in font styles come and go. While fonts in printed publications are one thing, what’s the best font for writing on the web?

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Technical Writing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Typography>Fonts


Which Makes a Better Technical Writer: Writers with Language or Technical Skills?

Which of these would you hire to join your Technical Writing Dept? Someone with great writing skills but little technical knowledge or, for example, a Computer Science graduate with deep technical knowledge but average writing skills? We’ve been talking about this on LinkedIn and here are some thoughts.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Technical Writing (2010). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing


Who Makes The Most Money - Technical Writers with Strong Language or Deep Technical Skills?

I think there is more money if you have deep technical knowledge rather than strong writing skills.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Technical Writing (2010). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>Technology

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