Tech Writer This Week for November 15, 2012


Tech Writer This Week – November 15, 2012 – TechWhirl

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

Storified by · Thu, Nov 15 2012 04:59:01

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Yes, pretty much every tech writer (or any living, breathing person) we know is still recovering from what seemed to be an endless election cycle in the U.S. Which, doesn’t stop tech comm, content strategy and UX pundits from working hard to bring useful and enlightening commentary to tech writers and content masters of all stripes.   For instance, in technical communication, Amy Hellenga (shoap.com) comes right out and declares that tech writing is boring, but then explains why consistency matters anyway. Ethan Wartick (info.hurleywrite.com) shares a few tips on improving technical writing. Julio Vazquez (www.sdicorp.com) discusses tech comm lessons learned from politics, including the need for clarity.

Commentary from the User Experience world includes Ben Self (uxmag.com), who tells us how UX is related to sword play. Jakob Nielsen (www.useit.com) discusses tunnel vision and selective attention. And Chris Griffith (uxmag.com) examines the UX design impacts of mobile devices and touch.

We finish up this week in Content Strategy, where Stephen King (!) offers content writing tips. Val Swisher (contentrules.com) gives a thought-provoking commentary as to why structured content is like your closet (with a nod to Meghan Casey over at Brain Traffic). And a short editorial from Brafton.com proclaims that content creation is becoming its own discipline moving into 2013 (as opposed to mere copy writing, content marketing or content strategy.) Back in January (but still fresh and useful) Andy Crestodina (orbitmedia.com) designed the periodic table of content, a great primer for those just getting started in content strategy.

Technical Communication

Why is Consistency Important? | Shoap Technical ServicesIt’s not like technical writing isn’t already incredibly boring, so why does it have to be consistent? Such is the typical complaint abou…
Improving Your Technical WritingImproving Your Technical Writing Writing a technical document can be difficult, but you can improve the process by incorporating a few si…
Tech comm lessons from the political campaign > Systems Documentation, Inc. > SDI Blog | Technical Writing & Technical Communication TrendsBefore I start this column, I want to express my best wishes and prayers to the folks in the Northeast who may not even read this because…

User Experience

Dueling and Design | UX MagazineThe other day I was leaving the office and mentally switching gears from the design work I had been doing all day to the fencing class I …
Tunnel Vision and Selective Attention (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, August 27, 2012 Summary: Users don’t see stuff that’s right on the screen. Selective attention makes people ove…
The Cost of a Touch | UX MagazineHave you ever thought about how often you touch your mobile device during a single day? Hundreds and hundreds of times, right? But what i…

Content Strategy

Content Writing Tips from Stephen KingIn a lot of ways, Stephen King is the ultimate ghostwriter. In 1977, frustrated with the suffocating stereotype that an author couldn’t p…
Structured Content is Like Your Closet | Content Rules, Inc.Structured Content is Like Your Closet I had a really interesting conversation today with my friend, Cheryl Landes. For those of you who …
Content creation becomes ‘its own discipline’ moving into 2013Published on The amount of time and money dedicated to marketing varies during the year. In many cases, brands spend fewer dollars on out…
Content Chemistry: The Periodic Table of ContentContent is made up of pieces. And pieces can be broken down into smaller pieces or combined into larger pieces, just like the elements on…
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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