How your customers feel about the user assistance your company provides.

I have posted this opinion poll so that software developers and users may gain an understanding of the myth that abounds in software and product development and marketing that “No one reads the manual” and alerting you to the fact that skimping on technical documentation can cost money

I bring this article to you courtesy of Sharon Burton, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original article here.

This poll certainly supports the opinions I put forward in my previous article.

Why do we have both “Color” and “Colour”?

I bring this article to you courtesy of Grammar Girl, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original artical here.

by Mignon Fogarty

Have you ever wondered why the British spell “color” with a “u” and Americans don’t? Or why the British spell “theater” with an “re” at the end and Americans spell it with an “er” at the end? We all know that these spelling differences exist, but not everyone knows why they exist.

Today, we’re going to find out!

Continue reading “Why do we have both “Color” and “Colour”?”

What’s the difference between a technical communicator and a technical writer?

According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the official description, written years ago, of the technical writer’s responsibilities is the following:

“Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.”

Today, communication covers much, much more. STC members do much, much more. Their work is dynamic and interactive. The old definition isn’t nearly broad enough.

Read the original article at http://www.stc.org/story/tc_tw.asp

Continue reading “What’s the difference between a technical communicator and a technical writer?”

The QA of Product Design

I bring this article to you courtesy of Gryphon Mountain Journals, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original article here.

Technical Communication: The QA of Product Design

Friday, August 13th, 2010

In our ongoing department reorganization, we technical writers are experiencing some angst as we carve out a desirable place for ourselves. However, as we’ve talked about it as a community of practice (no longer as an organized team with our own manager), I think we’re coming to an agreement that now is the time to make things happen—to strike, as Tom likes to say.

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Supporting Product Demos with User Assistance

I bring this article to you courtesy of UXmatters, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original article here.

Making the Deal: Supporting Product Demos with User Assistance

By Mike Hughes

Published: August 23, 2010

“While user assistance does have a positive impact on product acceptance and user satisfaction, it does not usually play a major role in influencing someone’s decision to buy a product.”

The Evolution Of User Manuals

I bring this article to you courtesy of Forbes.com, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original artical here.

Aaron Fulkerson, 08.09.10, 12:00 PM EDT

Product and services documentation is now a core business asset that can drive revenues.

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Aaron Fulkerson

When people in technology hear the word “documentation” it conjures images of the ’90s, when software shipped on CDs, in boxes, with thousand-page user manuals that were costly to create and bordered on useless to the end user. The teams authoring those materials have been viewed as a cost center, and their products only minimally satiating customer demand for product documentation.

Continue reading “The Evolution Of User Manuals”