A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Abby and the Broken Fence

There is a decision doc managers need to make all the time: balance savings today against expenses tomorrow; balance constantly patching a doc with tearing the whole thing down and starting anew. My solution to fixing my fence was the exact same I would have taken to patching a doc.

Raymond, Robert. Indus (2010). Articles>Documentation>Project Management


Adopting Documentation Usability Techniques to Alleviate Cognitive Friction

Cognitive friction results in a digital divide between the software development community and software users. The digital divide, in turn, has a direct correlation with the usability of the application: how well can the software users learn and use the application or the product to perform their tasks and accomplish their goals. Today's Technical Communicators can help bridge this divide and reduce cognitive friction by applying industry-acclaimed usability techniques to the documentation they produce toward accelerating user acceptance of the product. Less cognitive friction means better user adoption that results in fewer calls to tech support, higher customer satisfaction, and in the long run, better brand loyalty.

Biswas, Debarshi Gupta and Suranjana Dasgupta. Indus (2009). Articles>Documentation>Usability>Methods


Agile for Information Development

Software development methods seem to change more often than the seasons, and just when information development professionals are familiar with one approach a new one comes along. One method that has received wide acceptance and seems to have some staying power, however, is the Agile software development method. As described by the Agile Manifesto (2001), Agile software development is: a group of software development methodologies; based on iterative and incremental development; solutions evolve through collaboration of cross-functional teams.

Clymer, Laura. Indus (2013). Articles>Project Management>Workflow>Agile


Are Pune Technical Writers the Highest Paid?

Are Pune technical writers the highest paid of the breed in India? The word on the street doesn't say so. As a hiring manager, I don't believe so. But, the salary survey suggests so.

Menezes, Frederick. Indus (2005). Careers>Writing>Regional>India


At the Touch of a Button

Are the days of print documentation over? How ‘usable’ is your print documentation?

Nair, Manjusha. Indus (2009). Articles>Documentation>Publishing


Authoring Accessible Documentation

The software application you document is accessibility-compliant, but not the documentation you author? Then read on. With software applications implementing accessibility guidelines, it is only natural that their documentation too should be accessible.

Vairagade, Mugdha. Indus (2010). Articles>Documentation>Accessibility


Automation of Documentation Submittals via HP Quick Test Professional

Are you a Web publisher or Web submitter who uploads documents manually? The primary role of a Web publisher is to publish content on the Web. The content being published could be in different file formats like html pages, pdf documents etc. A typical process involves a Web publisher uploading a document, entering the metadata for the document, and posting it to the Web. This effort is time-consuming. Is there any automated tool that can help Web publishers submit several documents automatically without having to enter the metadata of the documents manually and processing them? The answer is yes.

Basrur, Hemanth. Indus (2009). Articles>Content Management>Metadata>Case Studies


Awful Writer or “Awe”full Writer

If you are reading this article in INDUS, I assume that the majority of you must be technical writers. The peer-review checklist might be firmly etched in your mind. Please make sure this checklist in disabled. If doing so is not possible, just click the X sign at the top-right corner of the screen. Also, if you have no sense of humor, it is mandatory to click the X sign. I make no apologies for the grammatical errors or syntax errors or sentence structure or comma splices or… whew..pant..pant… this ‘or’ is making me breathless. In fact, I am thriving on these errors because my creative skills are running riot. I have expressed my thoughts in an unconventional manner and, believe me, the feeling is exhilarating and invigorating.

Menon, Sangeeta. Indus (2009). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing


Canada Calling?

If Canada is at the top of your I-want-to-immigrate-to destinations, think of specific reasons why that is the case – analyze your choice in the context of migrating, instead of going by the world’s popular perception of the country.

Nene, Sumedh. Indus (2010). Careers>Writing>Regional>Canada


The Canadian Blend

Since moving to Canada just under a year ago, I must have received at least two dozen inquiries about the country: what I feel about it, why I chose this country, and the cultural differences I see between India and Canada – primarily on the work front. I was also quizzed by many on what I did to blend in and settle down here. So here are my thoughts on what I feel are important factors in not only feeling at home in a new environment, but also helping the localities embrace you and feel at ease with you.

Nene, Sumedh. Indus (2010). Articles>Writing>Regional>Canada


Careers in Content Marketing

Careers in Sales and Marketing were long restricted to a few designations like Salesmen, Marketing Executives, Cold-callers, Sales Managers. But, now there are a plethora of opportunities and one can be an Account Manager, Ad-Sales/Operations Manager, Marketing Communication/Brand Communication Manager, Pre-Sales person, Customer-care Representative, Business Analyst so on and so forth. The opportunities for marketing professionals are endless and it is ever-expanding with the emergence of a multi-million dollar industry, namely Content Marketing.

Prabu, M.D.S. Indus (2010). Careers>Content Management>Marketing


Client-Friendly Atmosphere: The Polish and The Lubricants

During the last few years in projects, I interacted with a lot of clients. All these projects were based offshore, where client interaction was mainly through emails or teleconferences. When you do not work face-to-face with clients, communication is key to win your clients' confidence.

Nafde, Yamini. Indus (2006). Careers>Consulting>Collaboration


Content: The News Marketing Tool

The dramatic shift in marketing is characterized by the advertising language that uses the tone of informing than selling. In today’s world a seller needs to be proactive, anticipate changes, and create awareness among the community. To reach everyone in the right time, place and to convince and provide a multitude of options is the goal of every seller and marketer. Content Marketing empowers one to do that.

Prabu, M.D.S. Indus (2010). Articles>Content Management>Marketing


Cracking Tough Nuts to Come Out on Top in Hard Times

Discusses strategies to help you strengthen your adaptive smarts. How you choose to implement these strategies is a highly personal process, given your own unique circumstance. The idea here is to provide some food for thought to help you develop your own particular brand of adaptive smarts.

Doulton, Melanie. Indus (2009). Careers>Advice


Creating Portfolios Easily

Technical Documents don’t exist in isolation. As we are all aware, the norm of the industry is documentation sets. A documentation set contains multiple documents, each with different pagination, formats, page sizes, and any other complexities that you can add to the mix. The only factor that unifies these documents is that they are usually located in the same directory folder; at times the folder is zipped. There is nothing inherently wrong in collecting all the documents and putting them in a folder named “documentation.” But it lacks the WOW factor. Seriously, how glamorous can a text or HTML file be? Even a PDF with multimedia content, cool 3D models, and what not? Can we delight the user with engaging experiences while delivering technical documentation? Moreover, can we also deliver enhanced functionality and flexibility to the user? The answer is yes – PDF Portfolios using Adobe Acrobat.

Yogin, Suhas and Vikrant Rai. Indus (2010). Careers>Portfolios>Online


Dealing With the Salary Survey

Thanks to Makarand, Paresh, Mira, and other contributors, some of our questions are answered after a gap of two years and we have some takeaways from the salary survey.

Aiyyangar, Ramesh. Indus (2005). Careers>Salaries>Regional>India


Designing a Software User Assistance System

This article looks at a methodology for developing a software user assistance (UA) system in a structured manner. The software UA system could have both paper-based user manuals and online help systems.

Ferris, Tamara. Indus (2006). Articles>Documentation>Online>Help


Designing for Accessibility

Any large audience for a Web site will include users who have physical challenges to accessing your content. Designing for accessibility means that you should be developing Web pages that will remain accessible despite any physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities, work constraints, or technological barriers. Most mainstream Web sites are so heavily image- and media-intensive that they are not suitable for adaptive devices such as screen readers, voice browsers, and braille translators. Many of the guidelines necessary for developing accessible content naturally lend themselves to creating good design.

Sklar, Joel. Indus (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Designing Usable Technical Documents: Why Bother?

Many professionals in the field of technical writing involved in the design of instruction guides, will at some point in their career have experienced some doubt whether their efforts to produce high quality documentation really make sense. Do consumers attach some value to the instruction guides for the products they have purchased? Do they use these documents at all, or are most instruction guides thrown away, together with the packing material of the equipment they come with?

Jansen, C. Indus (2002). Articles>Documentation>Usability


Do I Really Need a Style Guide?

Style guides recommend certain styles. In the domain of technical communication, we refer to guides for writing style, presentation of content in user documentation and technical documents, and graphical user interface of software and web sites.

Palagummi, Sharada. Indus (2009). Articles>Style Guides>Editing>Writing


Do I Really Need a Style Guide?

Style guides recommend certain styles. In the domain of technical communication, we refer to guides for writing style, presentation of content in user documentation and technical documents, and graphical user interface of software and web sites.

Palagummi, Sharada. Indus (2009). Articles>Style Guides>Editing>Writing


Do Indian Technical Writers Need Professional Courses?

After carefully studying the various areas that can be touched upon, we identified performance and the need of systematic Technical Writing education as the focus for our research. We prepared two surveys and then hosted them on SurveyMonkey.com for 50 days. The first survey was for Technical Writing Managers (Hiring Managers) and the second was for Technical Writers. The first survey was completed by 14 participants whereas the second survey was completed by 185 participants.

Pandit, Makarand M. and Gyanesh Talwar. Indus (2010). Articles>Education>Technical Writing>India


Don't Lose Your Articles

One of the difficult concepts to understand in the English language is perhaps the manner in which articles are used in a sentence. Over the course of one's life history, every student of English has had to face this nightmare at one point of time or another. The verbs are all in place and you know the nouns, the pronouns are fairly obvious, and the prepositions can eventually be worked out, but what comes before the word year and what comes before SMS is tricky.

Sastry, Uma. Indus (2009). Articles>Writing>Diction>Grammar


Don't Lose Your Articles - Part Two

In spite of having the thumb rules with us, we may still be at times unsure of placing the right articles. You may wonder sometimes like Sir Henry Higgins and say, ‘Why can’t we place the articles like the way it should be?’

Sastry, Uma. Indus (2009). Articles>Writing>Diction>Grammar


Emerging from the Sidelines: The Indian Technical Writing Community in a Global Marketplace

Comparing trends in India and the U.S. gives a sense that the Indian technical communication community is on a strong footing and can gain a competitive edge by focusing on some key areas.

Bhatia, Neeraj. Indus (2005). Careers>Salaries>Regional>India



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