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Listening to users

I don't think that technical writers, or the people who hire technical writers, are really listening properly to product users. I base that assertion on some research I did myself at the end of 2008 and on research by other organisations as well. I have discussed my ideas at a number of conferences recently (including the STC France Conference in Paris, and the Information Design Association Conference in Greenwich (London) and the 10th Anniversary Conference of the STC's Trans-Alpine Chapter in Vienna in June 2009).

I'll be discussing these ideas again at Technical Communications UK 2009 in Nottingham in September, which looks like it is going to be a really exciting event. I hope you'll be able to be there.

It's difficult to plan what needs to go into your technical publications if you don't understand what it is that your users are doing with your product. You may be testing your software code, but are you testing your products with your users? Are you at the very least, trying to engage your users in a conversation about your products? If you aren't doing that yet, then I believe I can help you with both short-term and long term achievable goals.

Technical writing, when it's done well, can be a really effective bridge between your company and the people who use your products, but it does take time and effort. If there's anything you'd like to know about technical writing, or if you'd like to talk to me about the technical communication needs of your business, please get in touch.

Technical Writing...

As an experienced technical writer, I can create the online help systems and user guides you need for your products and services. Read more...

Information Design...

Before you start writing your user information you need to plan what information to include, and how to present it. Read more...

DITA Exchange...

The DITA open standard offers XML-based answers for documentation problems. DITA Exchange delivers a DITA solution for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 users. It's a lot easier than it sounds - let me explain...

News and Articles...

Find out what I have been doing recently, my past and future speaking engagements, and catch up with articles about technical writing I've written recently. Read all about it...

About David...

Find out more about me and my career in technical communications, my recent technical writing clients and projects, and take a look at some sample documents. Read on...

Contact me...

If you'd like to discuss anything about user documentation or any other type of technical or business writing, please contact me. Read more...

 

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