Adobe Robohelp

Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscriber count: 3,505

Stitcher radio

follow us in feedly

Want more tech comm blogs to follow? See my Tech Comm Collection of Blogs on Feedly.

Adobe Robohelp

Top 10 Worst Things SMEs Say or Do -- Interview with Brenda Huettner

Nov 12, 2007 • podcasts

Download MP3
Brenda HuettnerDuration: 25 min

In this podcast, I interview Brenda Huettner about strategies for overcoming the top 10 Worst Things SMEs Say or Do. The top 10 list includes the following:

  1. The user will know how to do this. Do not worry about it.
  2. I just do not have time to review all of this.
  3. Oh, I will just write it myself (and then it is awful/useless, and they get insulted if you try to correct or fix it)
  4. Documentation is not necessary, the interface is obvious.
  5. I cannot give you access to this …
  6. Is generally mean/nasty and rude to you. You have no rapport with them.
  7. Keeps him or herself unavailable to you, or is evasive and rarely present to help you with the information you need.
  8. Gives you explanations, but goes extremely fast and falls into masses of acronyms and other jargon. Or, gives you a screen demo, but blows so fast through the application that you can't follow it. Then is impatient when you ask for slower instructions, or for them to repeat something.
  9. Promises to review the document, but never does, or does so only superficially, noting typos.
  10. Forgets to tell you about changes to the application that affect documentation.

To visit Brenda's blog, go to http://vagabond.blogsome.com/. Brenda is an STC Fellow, an officer in the IEEE.org, and co-author of Managing Virtual Teams.

This podcast is a special edition produced specifically for the Kraków ID Writer's Circle in Poland -- a group of Information Developers for IBM that meet weekly to discuss Technical Writing topics. I'm always like to hear from listeners, especially when they're in other countries. If you would like to request a special topic, or just want to send feedback, email me at tom@idratherbewriting.com.

Messages & Links from our Sponsors

MadCap Flare is the most versatile XML-based Help authoring tool on the market, with thousands of customers using MadCap products including Microsoft, Google, HP, GE, yahoo and the list goes on. Check out Flare version 3.1 and a host of other new tools at at madcapsoftware.com.

Lunar Pages offers basic web hosting starting at $6.95. When you sign up for a basic hosting account, you get 350 GB of storage, 3500 GB of bandwidth per month, free tech support, Fantastico, and and dozens of other tools. If you've been thinking about starting your own self-hosted blog, contact Lunarpages.com to set it up.

Intro music in this podcast is from Podshow.

About Tech Writer Voices

Tech Writer Voices features podcasts related to the field of technical communication. You can download and listen to these podcasts on the go, so that while driving to work or running on the gym treadmill, you can continue learning and expanding your knowledge of the rapidly changing, always interesting field of help authoring. Are you interested in starting a podcast? Contact me and I'll show you how for free.

follow us in feedly


Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscriber count: 3,505

Powered by ZipRecruiter

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.