16 Reasons Why Your Users Do Not Read User Documentation

I bring this article to you courtesy of Dennis Crane, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.


Nobody reads help files!

Are you sure?

In the ten years that we’ve been developing Dr.Explain, a leading-edge tool for creating help files, we saw hundreds of our customers’ projects. Our technical support team mostly receives user documentation for software products with requests to help implement some tricks. When talking with our customers, we ask them all kinds of questions about their projects, business areas, products, and audiences.
Based on that experience, we can draw a lot of conclusions, including this one: Users do read user documentation. In many cases, users frequently consult with such documentation. In some projects, it is a vital component of the product or services.

However, sometimes people do not use user documentation. In most cases, the reasons are as follows.

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10 Tips To Hiring Technical Writing Consultants

By Dave Young, Professional Writer and Founder, Young Copy

I bring this article to you courtesy of Dave Young, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do and I also endorse his opinions in this regard.

Young Copy has put together a list of tips every hiring manager should review before bringing in a contract technical writer or hiring technical writing consultants. These tips are based on years of experience by technical writing consultant Dave Young, founder of Young Copy.

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Technical Writers are Communicators

The Society for Technical Communication (STC), the professional organization for technical writers, is involved in a movement to re-classify technical writers as technical communicators. A similar effort is also underway in the United Kingdom. To some technical writers, this movement is a bit contrary to their self-image as professional writers, while others welcome the change and agree that technical writers are increasingly tasked with creating technical communications in a growing variety of mediums beyond the written word.

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Technical writing opportunities in South Africa – An opinion.

Technical Writing in South Africa is, in my opinion, very much in its infancy.

In my time as a self-employed contract Technical Writer, I have come to realise that some software development houses would appear to regard a Technical Writer as not dissimilar to that of a glorified typist who would produce something resembling a user manual. The practice of delegating the production of a user manual to the developer or to the marketing department is also one that is used quite often.

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