My mental model of the world takes its cues from science fiction tales of the multi-verse, and a graduate degree in organizational communication and design. An infinite number of ways to experience and engage in daily life. It gets a lot more interesting and enjoyable when we avoid judging others’ worldviews. But, worldviews underly nearly every political battle and policy debate, as well as the latest change management or “transformation” initiative that the HMMs (referencing High Mucky Mucks, who share many common traits with Scott Adams’ PHBs), so a more “live and let live” approach rarely finds favor with those who write the rules, and the checks.
As practitioner and a journalist/editor covering various communications and content sub-disciplines, I spend a fair amount of time looking at content work through various lenses. Product designers, developers, and those specializing in user experience look at the converging worlds of content and customer experience differently than those who work at creating useful combinations of words. They don’t place much importance on debates about whether contractions can be used in technical or support docs. But writers don’t place much importance on the exact amount of white space required on a web page, so I suppose it all events out in the end. In fact, there’s a subset in every field that hones in on the pedantic issues like lasers. We see it all the time, across the board, and often wonder whether such people ever make it out of the cubicle ghettos. Thought leaders in these fields tend to have a broader worldview, and an ability to think globally about how experience intersects with viewpoint, and ways to improve the whole system rather than a single process or component.
So we go looking for thought leaders, and this week finds a number of them considering foundational questions about language and design, as well as the practical and specific:
- The Language of Modular Design
- How NOT to improve an application
- What qualities should technical writers have to work at startups?
- Great UX Doesn’t Guarantee a Great Customer Experience
Rather than circumnavigating the internet for great posts on content, techcomm, UX, and customer experience, just spend a little time with the latest edition of Tech Writer This Week. No passport required.