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WTD podcast episode 14: Humanizing your documentation

Mar 23, 2018 • podcasts, writing

In the latest episode of the Write the Docs podcast, we chat with Carolyn Stransky, a journalist and JavaScript developer living in Berlin, about ways to humanize documentation. We discuss dilemmas with transparency in docs (the balance between honesty and negativity), ways to avoid gendered language (including whether to correct workplace misuse of "he"), strategies for achieving plain language and clarity (such as by reading your content out loud), the term "user" and alternatives, how to develop empathy for your audience, why terms like "simple" and "easy" are problematic (even in Marketing), tools for identifying insensitivity and complexity in docs (Hemingway, Alex), what makes content sound truly human, and more.

Here’s a video recording of the podcast:

You can see more details (including mp3 links, subscribe options, etc.) here: WTD Episode 14: Humanizing your documentation.

For more information, see the following:

For some I’d Rather Be Writing posts related to these topics, see:

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical communication — Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, academics, and more. I'm interested in simplifying complexity, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a technical writer of any kind (progressional, transitioning, student), be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.