The Method M blog for technical writers, marketing staff, product managers and others who spend hours each week creating documents. This blog is dedicated to helping you work more efficiently and create better documents.
In today's complex global economy, good technical documentation is essential. We have all been frustrated when it is lacking -- when we can't find what we need in an owner's manual, when on-line help is no help at all, when newsletter articles are confusing, when installation instructions are incomplete, or when we can't find what we need on a web site.
This collection of thirty-six articles exposes the problem and the promise of historical research in technical writing. The central problem is that historical research in technical writing has too often been focused only on celebrated authors or scientists as technical writers. The central promise contained in some very recent essays is that historical research in technical communications is beginning to consider the slow evolution of technical communication taking place across a broad spectrum of both celebrated and uncelebrated writers. This historical approach, though more difficult to carry out, is immensely more accurate and meaningful.
Often conflicting pressures to produce communications that better fit customer demands as well as stay within tightening constraints on budgets and schedules are leading many technical communications organizations to a topic-based approach to authoring. In fact, 58% of participants in Aberdeen Group's October 2008 DITA and the Technical Communicator’s Transformation study report that they currently follow author content in a topic-based manner, with a vast majority of those remaining planning to implement one in the future. A topic-based approach promotes greater content reuse and is seeing a considerable impact on the authoring efficiency of technical communications projects today. The benefits of topic-based authoring can be compelling, with findings from the The Technical Communicator’s Transformation study indicating that when pursued the right way, topic-based authoring can have a broad range of benefits, enabling an organization to meet authoring and localization cost targets as well as documentation quality expectations, among others. However, as the adoption of this approach spreads, the advantages seen by today's leading organizations will flatten out. This Sector Insight provides a guide for current adoption of topic-based authoring and those still considering it; outlining the changes that are expected to take place in as topic-based authoring goes mainstream.
College Writing Assessment is a website containing research and information on the evolving field of teaching of technical communication at the college level. It will include the results of our yearly assessments at New Jersey Institute of Technology, changing technical communication criteria, and our collaborations with other institutions.
Scott Adams created a character named Tina the tech writer for his comic strip Dilbert. She’s brittle, humorless, literal, and wonders why she doesn’t get any respect or interesting work. Like many caricatures, Tina has a basis in reality. This blog will explore issues in technical communication and its professional association the Society for Technical Communication.
Technical Communication is a broad term which includes technical writing, instructional designing, graphics, website designing or any form of communication which helps in communicating the technical information in a simpler way to the targeted user. This also includes audio tapes, video films and micro clips.