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Trends in Technical Communication - Rethinking Help [Kindle Edition]

Ellis Pratt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Many people in the field of software and technical communication are asking: Couldn't we do a better job at helping users when they get stuck?

This book is a collection of articles and selected extracts from books that have looked at some of the major trends in software technical documentation in recent years. Its purpose is to help those involved in developing software User Assistance, in all its forms, determine a strategy for the future.

The book looks at:

How we can measure the value of Technical Documentation
The emotion factor in user manuals, and how to use it to create more loyal customers
The guide on the side - conversation and collaboration with users
Is rhetorical writing our new destiny?
You win! Getting users to RTFM using techniques from games
Semantic, structured authoring
Ten trends in technical communication

Some of the content contained in this book has been published before, but many of the articles have been updated and extended since they were published originally. We hope, by bringing together this information into a single body of knowledge, you'll find it easier to understand the key trends in this form of communication.

The articles provoke ideas and thoughts that will lead to more effective ways to communicate technical information effectively.

Reviews of the book:

Phil Stokes, in the Autumn 2011 edition of the ISTC’s Communicator magazine. 4 stars out of 5:

"This book does what it promises to do. It provides an overview of trends in technical communication and sets out a vision for the future. If you are wondering what skills you are going to need tomorrow and where the future lies for our profession , this book is a good place to start."

David Kowalsky, in Sound Views, the newsletter of the Puget Sound Chapter of STC (May/June 2011):

"Trends in TC ’s good introduction explains this eBook is a collection of articles and selected excerpts on recent trends in software technical documentation "to help those involved in developing software User Assistance, in all its forms, determine a strategy for the future." The descriptive headings break up the
content, and for the longer articles, there is a predictable and helpful format of including an introduction, summary or conclusion, and references or further reading."

Edition 1.1

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 678 KB
  • Publisher: Cherryleaf Ltd (9 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00506U2ZM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #559,181 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ellis is a Director at Cherryleaf Technical Authors - a technical writing services company in the United Kingdom.

He has over fifteen years experience working in the field of documentation. Ranked the most the influential blogger on technical communication in Europe, Ellis is a specialist in the field of creating knowledge users will love. Ellis is also speaker on topics such as the future trends for user assistance and the ROI of Help.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Loved this collection of articles. Essential reading for anyone in the software user assistance (UA) and tech comm space who wants an overview of trends, but also wants to try out some new ideas and follow up by checking out the resources also supplied in the articles. I was particularly impressed by the materials on the paradigm shift in UA towards community/social help and on affective user assistance. Subjects close to my heart - and research interests: blogs.oracle.com/userassistance. Nice one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and on the money 11 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As someone who `straddles` the fields of user documentation and training this book brought a lot of what I have experienced over the last 3 years into focus. The world is changing - and it`s fun. Anyone involved in user communication should read this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars So it does come out of fashion? 22 May 2014
By Peter Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This ebook is a good collection of articles that is relevant to technical writers who write material for organisations. This is a good way to gain insight into the art and practice of writing materials.
4.0 out of 5 stars On a second reading... 18 May 2011
By M. Faulkner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I initially reviewed this book rather harshly, but now that I've run through it a second time, I've found some kernels of information about improving user documentation that I can promote through the unavoidable layers of bureaucracy that exist in every corporation. The book would benefit from more connecting/transitional material, however.
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