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Podcast: What Is the Technical Writer's Role in Interface Design? Interview with Bogo Vatovec

by Tom Johnson on Dec 14, 2008
categories: podcasts

Download MP3 (to download, right-click and select Save Target As)
Duration: 38 min.

In this podcast, I interview Bogo Vatovec, an expert in change management, user experience, and knowledge engineering, about the technical writer's role in interface design. Specifically, we cover the following in the podcast:

  • What the technical writer's role should be in the company
  • Why the technical writer's skills are often "accepted but not respected"
  • Why a technical writer needs to do more than just what he or she is told
  • What the technical writer's role is in relation to design and usability
  • The importance of spinning your criticisms of prototypes in positive ways
  • How early the technical writer should get involved with a project
  • The semantics and implications of names ("technical writer" versus "information designer")
  • How the role of an information designer differs from the role of a technical writer
  • Why changing the name from "writer" to some other title isn't enough
  • Why writing skills are a declining value
  • What happens when writers do more

Bogo is a senior member of the STC and a regular presenter at conferences worldwide. For example, at the last STC Summit, Bogo participated in a panel on career trends.

For more information on Bogo Vatovec, see his site at

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle 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 my API documentation if you're looking for more info about that. 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 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.