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."