Podcast: Make Your Help Indispensable, Safeguard Your Job
Download MP3 (to download, right-click and select Save Target As)
Length: 30 min.
In this podcast, I talk with Mike Hughes, second vice president of the STC, about his latest UXMatters article, "Straight Talk: Surviving Tough Times as a User Assistance Writer." We talk about how to make help more valuable, more worthwhile and user-focused, so you don't lose your job when companies begin laying off employees based on lack of value.
Here are a few other topics we cover in this podcast:
- Where help must appear to be used, and how to pitch it to the user
- Why documenting everything is sometimes the worst thing you can do
- What it means to make your help "a mile wide and thirty seconds deep"
- How identifying points of pain and information gaps can help you avoid writing obvious instructions
- Why tools and technologies can distract you from the content
About Mike Hughes
Mike is a seasoned technical communicator with 20 plus years of experience. He currently works for IBM Internet Security Systems as a user assistance architect. He holds a PhD in Instructional Technology from the University of Georgia and a Masters in Technical and Professional Communication from Southern Polytechnic State University. Mike also contributes regular columns to UX Matters and writes a blog at http://user-assistance.blogspot.com.