TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
The TechWhirl gang has returned from a great WritersUA conference in
Memphis, with pages and pages of notes that are already being turned into
articles about the latest and greatest in user assistance, lots of photos
on Pinterest <http://pinterest.com/techwhirl/writersua-conference-2012/>,
good memories of the home of the Blues, and newfound appreciation for the
role of ducks in modern society.
- WritersUA Session Summary: Embedding User Experience in the Product
Development Life Cycle, by Lauren Hart | http://bit.ly/wbxLps
- WritersUA Session Summary: Getting Started with User Assistance (UA)
for Mobile Applications, by Ashley Brown | http://bit.ly/yY7KuI
- Technical Communications Poll: Factors in User Assistance Development
- WritersUA Conference: The Story of User Assistance, via Storify | http://bit.ly/wBiPZI
- Technical Communications Primer: Gestalt Theory and Visual Design, by
Geoff Hart | http://bit.ly/wFLlZV
Technical Communications: What You’re Talking About
A quick *shout out* to our Technical Writers and their discussions in our email
discussion group <http://goo.gl/YUrbb>:
- Craig Cardimon wanted some opinions “Regarding the "Next" button,” and
Whirlers were more than willing to oblige. What might have been a rehash
actually brought up some points some of us might miss, such as handling
these references when the UI contains both buttons and links, whether the
button is a “standard” on the UI, if it’s part of a wizard, and yes, the
experience level of the audience.
- Jeff Scattini needed to know “Is "untar" an acceptable verb?” within
the context of software delivered by TAR files. Consensus by responders
was that among UNIX/Linux veterans, it would be well understood, but that
outside that arena, not so much. Particularly since “untar” has specific
meanings in languages other than English. The more generic, and completely
understandable “extract” was the most popular recommendation.
- Stephen Arrants unearthed an example of “More Low Paying Jobs” that
raised the eyebrows of quite a few list members who wondered about a rate
of $13 an hour for a technical documentation editor. Perhaps it pays to
think about several alternatives before passing judgment: it may be an
entry-level or low-skill position with a misleading title; the recruiter
may be low-balling, or the company may have an internal candidate in mind.
Nonetheless, it’s at least anecdotal evidence that many companies still do
not value technical communications at the same level as other professions.
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