Tech Writer This Week for April 4, 2013

Tech Writer This Week – April 4, 2013

TechWhirl’s Weekly Roundup of the best technical communication, content, user experience, and technical writing posts on the web.

Storified by TechWhirl.Com· Thu, Apr 04 2013 06:18:38

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After a foolishly good start to April, bloggers got down to the business of thinking and sharing commentary and useful tips, and we collected some of the best in Tech Writer This Week. We start off with Technical Communication. There’s no separation between good service and good technical writing, according to Bill Kershbaum (intextwriting.com), and he uses TechSmith (makers of the image capturing app Snagit) to illustrate his point. Speaking of good technical writing, Jacquie Samuels (writingassist.com) investigates why good developers can’t write good documentation, too. And Sarah Maddox (ffeathers.wordpress.com) talks about soliciting documentation feedback through user forums. 

This week, User Experience concentrates on UI design and usability. Colum McAndrew (cmcandrew.com/robocolumn ) wonders if how many users instinctively click on icons or text.Rhonda Bracey (cybertext.wordpress.com) shows us a graceful web form confirmation that serves as an excellent example of a well-designed user experience. Sabina Idler (blog.crazyegg.com) discusses building website usability around five concepts.

Content Strategy posts range in a number of different directions. Soha Naveed (techknowlogists.com) discusses how to start curating content wisely. Megan Whalin (meganwhalin.com) agrees that coming up with a content strategy isn’t always easy, and Anna Rydne (socialmediatoday.com) shares what we can learn from Ikea’s content strategy.

Career and Life features two posts on better writing. Technical Writing Tips for the Oil Patch (oilpatchwriting.wordpress.com) shares hints on how to write very large numbers, And Megan Darber (theatlantic.com) says “whom” is dying out.

Technical Communication

Good Technical Writing Is Good Customer ServiceTechSmith knows that taking good care of their customers means providing user help that’s easy to find and easy to use. There’s no separa…
Why Developers Write Horrible Documentation | Writing Assistance, Inc.By Jacquie Samuels The world of software development can be very fast paced and sometimes involves a mad scramble to get everything ready…
Getting documentation feedback via customer forums – a story of UX and UAI spend a few minutes each day trawling our online question-and-answer forum, answering questions when I can, and keeping an eye out for …

User Experience

Icon or text. Where would you click?Earlier today I downloaded the trial of a well known backup application. After installing it, rebooting my laptop and starting the applic…
Thoughtful and useful response to a web formMarch 26, 2013 I used the ‘Contact us’ form on Rosenfeld Media’s website, and got this as soon as I clicked the Submit button: Within sec…
Principles of Website Usability | 5 Key Principles Of Good Website UsabilityIt’s true, usability has become a commodity. Over the past few years, we have gotten used to certain standards in web design. In order to…

Content Strategy

Why Focus On Content Curation?Same as a content writer, a content curator is the one who specializes in aggregating content from the web worldwide. The major differenc…
Content Strategy: It’s too hard | Megan WhalinContent Strategy: It’s too hard This is an overview of a recent webcast with Sara Wachter-Boettcher , "How to get unstuck: content strate…
7 Ideas to Steal from Ikea’s Content Strategy | Social Media TodayAnna Rydne If I were to reveal a hidden talent of mine, I’d say I’m good at assembling Ikea furniture. As most Swedes, I’ve grown up with…

Career and Life

MegaNumbersAccording to the SPE Style Guide, we should use the words "million" and "billion" and "trillion" to express large, rounded numbers. You s…
For Whom the Bell TollsWhom, I am thrilled to inform you, is dying. But its death, I am less thrilled to inform you, has been slow. According to Google’s expans…

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

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