Making Help More Human, and other discussions
In this episode of Tech Writer Voices, Heidi and I talk about a number of cool trends in the technical writing world, particularly the need to make help more human by adopting conversational tones and addressing the angry/frantic state of the user.
A few of the topics we cover include the following:
- Kathy Sierra's keynote at the South by Southwest conference
- How to make help more human
- The state of mind of our users
- Where to put FAQs
- Live blogging from the Writers UA conference
- Team blogs and the importance of voice
- South by Southwest podcast archive
- Twitter trends
- 9 Lessons for Would-be bloggers
- Overcoming the fear of blogging
- Believing you have something valuable to say
- How having a focus for your blog gives you something to say
- Heidi's trail metaphor for blogging
- Keeping actions on a page grouped together, notes from a SIGCHI meeting
- Apple TV
- The paradox of choice
- How to sell the most jam in a supermarket
- Cognitive dissonance and the multitude of choices
- Applied Software Project Management by Andrew Stelman and Jennifer Green
- Authoritative sources for education
- Music from Podshow
About Tech Writer Voices
Tech Writer Voices is a podcast specifically for technical communicators. The weekly show features interviews, conversations, tips, and other information for those who write help content.
About Tom Johnson
I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.
If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the tech comm, be sure to subscribe to email updates below. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.