New Trends in Technical Writing
by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp — all-in-one help authoring tool
The world around us is changing rapidly. The same can be said about everything that we do, and technical writing is no exception. In this post, we are going to discuss the latest trends in this sphere.
Recently, interactive manuals have become so popular that even large companies use them to instruct the employees. Interactive manuals help companies cope with the biggest challenges — to instruct and to teach the users effectively. When users only read instructions, they may miss out a lot because there is a great gap between the theory and the practice. If users start learning to do tasks themselves — it seems to be more successful as instructing turns into sharing experience. If you like gaming, you’ve probably noticed that today most games have tutorials that help you reach the next level. That works pretty well. No wonder this concept has become so popular.
Another trend is to use media content instead of traditional documentation. We can find a lot of how-to videos, animated gifs, and pictures. All that contributes to the effectiveness of documentation. Some processes should not only be described but also demonstrated from the beginning to the end. If you need to demonstrate a specific sound in your documentation, that is not a problem today. It is rich media content that can make your tech docs highly-informative.
Focus on Readers
Earlier, documentation was mainly focused on the product. Technical writers merely wrote about the product or service, and printed documentation left no space for readers’ feedback. Now, the situation has changed, and documentation has become a means of communication between the two parties: users and vendors or employers and employees. Technical writers used to focus on what to tell about the product. Today, the main idea is HOW to describe the product in an effective way, so that any user could understand the information. Here we see how the ideas of UX and accessibility influence the technical writing process.
Conclusion: As a result, now, online technical documentation has a leading position in the world. Printed documentation is still used, but the tendency is like that: everything goes online.
Have a nice day!
Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors