Tag: Recently Read

Recently Read

First up, apologies for my absence over the past week or so. We decided to sneak a few days in Spain as a last minute holiday (before my wife starts her new job next week) and as it was all a bit rushed I didn’t have time to post anything here. Until then, here are some of the things that have pinged my interest in the past couple of weeks. Some may be a little old as I’m still catching up but… as ever, they may, or may not be of interest:

There’ll be a lot more on Wikis in the coming couple of weeks, and I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts and feedback. But more on that, later.

Recently Read

I’ve had my head stuck in various planning documents, so a shorter list than usual but, hopefully, thought provoking none the less.

  • Documentation = dollars ~ “Software development without documentation is self-centric. Documentation is a signal that the developer actually cares about her downstream users. For projects that actually want downstream users, write good documentation. It won’t cannibalize buyers: it will create them.”
  • TechComm Pros Wiki – could grow into a very useful resource, and as it’s a Wiki you can help.
  • TICAD 2007 – OK, this one is a bit cheeky as I’m going to be speaking at it. More on that later, but the programme looks interesting and has some excellent speakers (I’ve shared dinner with Bernard Aschwanden who is smart, engaging and… tells a dirty joke like you wouldn’t believe).

That aside, the issue of blogging came up on TechWR yesterday, with some people stating that they didn’t read blogs as they were just one persons opinion… but to me that is entirely the point. Admittedly weeding out the opinionated from the passionate, and the intelligent from the insulting can be tricky, but you soon gain a good radar for such things.

And I guess I should ask, which am I?

Recently Read

Another week, another list of articles that I’ve found interesting or useful. As usual they are spread across various areas, from technical writing, to information architecture and web design. Hope you find them interesting:

  • Scenarios and Minimalism – if you only visit one of the links today, make it this one. To summarise hugely, it’s all about user and task analysis, and matching the outcomes of your analysis to your writing methodology.
  • User Centred design – a paper investigating the different theories and methodologies evolving in this area. A bit dry at times.
  • MIKE2.0 Wiki – I’ve been looking into MIKE, purely out of curiosity, and this wiki is the best place to start.
  • 7 Lies of Information Architecture – an excellent starting point with links to respected resources. Should help debunk some myths, e.g. Lie 2. “There is a magic number (plus or minus two).”
  • What is Success? – “Success means… engaging with a social world: a world of clients and employers, but also of readers, users and other designers. It is those things that make us rich.”

Other than that, I’ve updated the TechComms RSS list (over on the right there), and if you do download it and find it useful, please let me know. I’m maintaining it for myself but happy to take requests if there are any sites you think I’ve missed.

Recently Read

I’m not sure if this is lazy blogging, or a useful feature but here, again, are a few of the articles and blog posts that caught my eye over the past week.

  • Audrey Carr on Design Briefs ~ “After a series of small projects involving undefined requirements, fuzzy objectives, and an aparent lack of truly insightful customer insights, I’ve spent a good chunk of this week thinking about the strategist’s favourite tool for communicating with creative and account teams: the brief.”
  • Inline Linking is bad for usability – whilst it’s aimed at those people concerned with optimising their content for search engines, the examples are interesting from a writing point of view as well, swap out “usability” for “readability” perhaps.
  • Linking DITA Topics using Relationship Tables – If you are investigating DITA have a skim through this, yet another way to increase the power of DITA
  • A mile wide and 30 seconds deep ~ Mike Hughes on how to focus your help content, “…focus the Help on what it does well, that is, provide a wide variety of 30-second informational solutions to get most users back on track and in task”
  • Help Authoring Tool matrix – has been running for a few years now and is a bang up-to-date, excellent resource.
  • The Rockley Blog – Ann Rockley and Steve Manning, of the Rockley Group and that book (Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy), have a blog. I had dinner with Steve, and others, after the X-Pubs conference this year and this is definitely a blog to watch.

OK, that’ll do for now.

Hopefully, by this time next week, I’ll have finished the new design for this site and will start posting a little more regularly. There are a few things I would like to explore, and hopefully I can get some feedback from you, dearest reader. Make sure you subscribe to the RSS feed to catch the next post.