Document 360: #1 Knowledge Base Software
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Document 360: #1 Knowledge Base Software

Latest Podcast Is Posted on Tech Writer Voices

by Tom Johnson on Jan 23, 2007 •
categories: technical-writing

I just posted a podcast with Thom Haller on Tech Writer Voices. It's an interesting podcast, with the central focus on organizing your site's information around tasks the users want to perform. We write help documentation the same way of course, but I hadn't really thought of applying the same principles to a website's information.

Thom Haller

I haven't yet applied the GECKO principle Thom talks about to my blog or podcast, but I plan to. With Tech Writer Voices, I have made subscribing to the podcast the main task I want the user to perform, and have included easy links for the user to click and listen to information. Perhaps I can include more instruction on how to actually move the MP3 files to various MP3 players, and how to subscribe with RSS readers.

It's surprising to me that despite all the focus on user analysis, user-centered design, and user feedback, I don't really have a standard method for going about it. That's why I like Thom's GECKO principle (Gather, Evaluation, Chunk, Know, Optimize). It takes a concept that we know we should do and puts it into an easy framework to follow.

To get started more with collecting user tasks, I ask you, reader, what tasks or things you're looking to do on this blog or on Tech Writer Voices?

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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 writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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