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Technical Writing – Making Resolutions for the New Year

Dec 27, 2010 • general

Technical Writing Resolutions for 2011As 2011 approaches, Lynda at WritingAssist.com encourages technical writers to make technical writing resolutions for the new year:

A new year means you get the chance to do things over, to do things better. Whether you've been happy with your technical writing team or you think things should improve, it's time to look back on the past year to see what needs to improve and what needs to be removed from your company for the year ahead. (Technical Writing – Making Resolutions for the New Year)

A few of her recommendations were on the conservative side, in my opinion. Update your software, modernize your style guide. Nevertheless, this got me thinking about new directions I'll take in 2011. I've been moving in some of these directions for a while. Here are the top 10 technical writing resolutions I have for 2011.

  1. Use wikis rather than traditional HATS to author help content.
  2. Give users quick reference guides rather than long printed guides.
  3. Include more visuals, especially concept diagrams, in my help content.
  4. Master Adobe Illustrator and increase my understanding of visual techniques.
  5. Read more of my RSS feeds online and use them as a way to generate ideas for posts.
  6. Start negotiating with project managers using an official user education plan rather than informal agreements.
  7. Implement an official workflow of post-release documentation efforts based on user feedback, bugs, questions, and other unforeseen situations.
  8. Solidify our team with standard approaches and processes as well as build unity through proximity.
  9. Contribute to corporate blogging efforts for IT site.
  10. Interact with community through forum, feedback, and other participation channels; stay abreast of needs and questions.

These aren't so much resolutions as directions I'm heading.


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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.