Simplifying my life and writing

For a while now I've wanted to simplify my life. When I tell this to people, almost everyone can relate. But the move toward simplicity isn't just about removing busy-ness. Simplicity lets you focus on the things you actually want to do, rather than those things you feel obligated to do but have no desire to do. I have a goal to simplify my writing style as well, using tools such as the Hemingway app and basic simplicity principles. Read more »

Guest post -- The effects of terminology consistency on the reader's comprehension and attitude

From a cognitive perspective, what do we know about the effects of terminology consistency on how our readers understand and 'like' our documentation? In this guest post, Yves Pierrot explores how the cognitive aspects of memory, reading, text comprehension, and search strategies potentially influence reader comprehension in tech docs. He admits that research in this area is lacking, so he pulls on his own experience and background in psychology as he reflects on principles such as priming, polysemy, and more. Read more »

Crowdsourcing docs with docs-as-code tools -- same result as with wikis?

Adding an Edit on GitHub button to my docs didn't have the immediate collaborative result I anticipated. In analyzing why crowdsourcing efforts succeed or fail, I decided to look back at my efforts with wikis some years ago. Docs as code provides new tools for simplifying authoring and publishing, as did wikis at the time. But crowdsourcing writing proves to be tricky no matter what tool you use. Writing doesn't break down into granular chunks that can easily be crowdsourced, so efforts to crowdsource writing will likely be the same. However, docs-as-code tools can empower people to author and publish their own content -- without expensive help authoring tools. Read more »

Write the Docs Podcast Episode 4 -- Continuous Integration and Docs as Code

Episode 4 of the Write the Docs podcast is now available. In this episode, we talk about continuous integration strategies for docs (for style, screenshots, and REST calls). We also dive into discussions around docs as code, including how to encourage developer collaboration, how to stay informed about code updates that developers make, and more. Read more »