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Document 360: #1 Knowledge Base Software

WTD podcast episode 14: Humanizing your documentation

by Tom Johnson on Mar 23, 2018 •
categories: podcastswriting

In the latest episode of the Write the Docs podcast, we chat with Carolyn Stransky, a journalist and JavaScript developer living in Berlin, about ways to humanize documentation. We discuss dilemmas with transparency in docs (the balance between honesty and negativity), ways to avoid gendered language (including whether to correct workplace misuse of "he"), strategies for achieving plain language and clarity (such as by reading your content out loud), the term "user" and alternatives, how to develop empathy for your audience, why terms like "simple" and "easy" are problematic (even in Marketing), tools for identifying insensitivity and complexity in docs (Hemingway, Alex), what makes content sound truly human, and more.

Here’s a video recording of the podcast:

You can see more details (including mp3 links, subscribe options, etc.) here: WTD Episode 14: Humanizing your documentation.

For more information, see the following:

For some I’d Rather Be Writing posts related to these topics, see:

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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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