Perspectives and Trends for Technical Writers
Technical writing became global a while ago. Tech writers set up events and conferences, network and share ideas. It is a huge community now with its own trends and difficulties. Humanity strives for improvement, and documentation authoring is not an exception, of course. In this article, we are going to discuss major trends in this field and obstacles technical writers face nowadays.
Pressing Issues in Technical Writing
User manuals in various forms have a long history. And, up till this day, the main issue is that the majority of people do not have any clue about the scope of work of a technical writer.
Technical writers not only write, they have to conduct a lot of research, work with images/videos, collaborate, study the product thoroughly. In fact, they should know the product perfectly as their task is not just to describe features but to try and predict possible difficulties a user might face. Moreover, in many companies, technical writers are involved in the testing process — they are the first real product users.
So, as some employers do not understand what exactly documentation team members do, they also fail to see the real value of technical writers. At times, this can lead to underestimation and underpayment. What every employer should also consider is that solid technical documentation equals case deflection. Which automatically raises customer satisfaction and decreases the support team workload.
How to approach this issue? Well, it is being approached already with the things we’ve mentioned previously — team collaboration, conferences and other global events. Increasing visibility is what can make a difference. We are hoping that our blog about technical writing will help to create this positive change, too :)
Documentation Authoring Trends So Far
AI and IoT Influence
AI is what’s has been hyping like crazy since the first Terminator movie came out (that, of course, wasn’t the first time this idea was expressed, but it is a serious milestone anyway). And, the fact is, it never stopped.
Nowadays, technical writers are talking a lot about AI, too. While the biggest IT corporations are pushing bots and personal assistants to a whole new level, this means that technical documentation has no choice but to move in this direction, as well. And, no doubt, technical writers are pretty excited.
Another thing that attracts a lot of attention these days in the Internet of Things. IoT devices are the future, so many experts believe. Printed manuals are starting to look weird next to all the hi-tech. Are we witnessing the end of the printed manuals era? Check out this article to find out our opinion on this.
Whatever the case is, it is now obvious that a good part of user manuals is supposed to be available online. And, this leads to another big trend among technical writers — using cloud services to develop and store technical documentation.
Online Help Authoring Tools
Let’s talk about this popular trend a bit more. The idea behind using any help authoring tool is — a convenient environment for creating documentation is key in creating an effective workflow. It boosts efficiency and overall work quality.
Modern HATs are flexible enough to simultaneously support your existing workflow and provide you with options for its improvement. Technical writing tools offer advantages to every team member, managers included. As an example, you can check out what functionality ClickHelp has, as far as teamwork and project management are concerned, and how it can make your workflow better.
Now, what will we get if we add online to that? A superb experience for both tech writers and their readers. Your documentation will be available from anywhere in the world with just a browser connected to the Internet. This resonates a lot with what tomorrow needs.
Like any successful industry, technical writing is evolving. The future looks bright for tech writers with the trends, like, AI, IoT, online documentation portals. Although, there are still some obstacles that have been here forever — a lack of understanding what help writers do and, as a result, a lack of recognition. We hope that due to the global character of processes and public events technical writers are taking part in, this pressing issue will soon be resolved.
Good Luck with your technical writing career!
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices
Originally published at https://clickhelp.com.