Developing Quality Technical Information A Handbook For Writers And Editors 3rd Edition Ibm Press PDF EPUB Download
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Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA documents the evolution of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) – a widely used open standard for structuring technical content. DITA has grown in popularity and features since its origins as an internal grammar for structuring technical documentation at IBM. This book introduces Lightweight DITA (LwDITA, which should be read as "Lightweight DITA") as a proposed version of the DITA standard that reduces its dependence on complex Extensible Markup Language (XML) structures and simplifies its authoring experience. This volume aims to reconcile discrepancies and similarities in methods for authoring content in industry and academia and does so by reporting on DITA’s evolution through the lens of computational thinking, which has been connected in scholarship and media to initiatives for learning to code and programming. Evia’s core argument is that if technical communicators are trained with principles of rhetorical problem solving and computational thinking, they can create structured content in lightweight workflows with XML, HTML5, and Markdown designed to reduce the learning curve associated with DITA and similar authoring methodologies. At the same time, this book has the goal of making concepts of structured authoring and intelligent content easier to learn and teach in humanities-based writing and communication programs. This book is intended for practitioners and students interested in structured authoring or the DITA standard.
User Support in the Wild and the Role of Technical Communication
Author: Jason Swarts
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Technology users are compulsive integrators, hybridizers, and bricoleurs, whose unpredictable applications and innovations create a challenging task for support-documentation writers. In Wicked, Incomplete, and Uncertain, Jason Swarts shows how to document technologies that may hybridize into forms that not even their designers would have anticipated and offers insight into the evolving role of a technical writer in an age of increasing user reliance on YouTube tutorials, message boards, and other resources for guidance. Technical writers traditionally create large volumes of idealized tasks and procedures in help documentation, but this is no longer the only approach, or even the best approach. Shifting responsibility for user support to users via crowdsourcing is a risky alternative. Just as with other mass-collaborative enterprises, contributors to a forum may not be aware of the kind of knowledge they are creating or how their contributions connect with those made by others. Wicked, Incomplete, and Uncertain describes the kinds of writing and help practices in which user forums engage, why users seem to find these forums credible and appealing, and what companies can learn about building user communities to support this form of assistance. Through investigation of user-forum activities, Swarts identifies a new set of contributions that technical communicators can make—not only by creating content but also by curating content, shaping conversations, feeding information back into the user community, and opening channels of discovery and knowledge creation that can speak to users and software developers alike
"The examples are excellent--right on target and easy to understand and adapt. Even those who don't adopt the entire procedure can profit from the parts, but the greatest value will flow to those who adopt the whole." --Carolyn Mulford, senior writer and editor of Writing That Works "This is also a book that students can keep for their professional libraries because it will increase in its value to them after they leave class and face real life experiences on the job. It is plain enough for them to understand while they are learning, and at the same time comprehensive enough to support them as professionals." --Elizabeth Boling, Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University "It practices what it preaches. Its guidelines are understandable and appropriate; its examples clear. It contains exactly what writers and editors need to know. It is the book that I would have written." --Cynthia E. Spellman, Unisys The #1 guide to excellence in documentation--now completely updated! A systematic, proven approach to creating great documentation Thoroughly revised and updated More practical examples More coverage of topic-based information, search, and internationalization Direct from IBM's own documentation experts, this is the definitive guide to developing outstanding technical documentation--for the Web and for print. Using extensive before-and-after examples, illustrations, and checklists, the authors show exactly how to create documentation that's easy to find, understand, and use. This edition includes extensive new coverage of topic-based information, simplifying search and retrievability, internationalization, visual effectiveness, and much more. Coverage includes: Focusing on the tasks and topics users care about most Saying more with fewer words Using organization and other means to deliver faster access to information Presenting information in more visually inviting ways Improving the effectiveness of your review process Learning from example: sample text, screen captures, illustrations, tables, and much more Whether you're a writer, editor, designer, or reviewer, if you want to create great documentation, this book shows you how!
Every complex product needs to be explained to its users, and technical writers, also known as technical communicators, are the ones who do that job. A growing field, technical writing requires multiple skills, including an understanding of technology, writing ability, and great people skills. Whether you're thinking of becoming a technical writer, just starting out, or you've been working for a while and feel the need to take your skills to the next level, The Insider's Guide to Technical Writing can help you be a successful technical writer and build a satisfying career. Inside the Book Is This Job for Me? What does it take to be a technical writer? Building the Foundation: What skills and tools do you need to get started? The Best Laid Plans: How do you create a schedule that won’t make you go crazy? How do you manage different development processes, including Agile methodologies? On the Job: What does it take to walk into a job and be productive right away? The Tech Writer Toolkit: How do you create style guides, indexes, templates and layouts? How do you manage localization and translation and all the other non-writing parts of the job? I Love My Job: How do you handle the ups and downs of being a technical writer? Appendixes: References to websites, books, and other resources to keep you learning. Index
The #1 Guide to Excellence in Technical Communication—Fully Updated for Embedded Assistance, Mobile, Search, Multimedia, and More Direct from IBM’s own content design experts, this guide shows you how to design product interfaces and technical information that always place users front and center. This edition has been fully revised to help you consistently deliver the right content at the right time. You’ll master today’s best practices to apply nine essential characteristics of high-quality technical information: accuracy, clarity, completeness, concreteness, organization, retrievability, style, task orientation, and visual effectiveness. Coverage Includes Advocating for users throughout the entire product development process Delivering information in an ordered manner by following progressive disclosure techniques Optimizing content so that users can find it from anywhere Streamlining information for mobile delivery Helping users right where they are Whether you’re a writer, editor, information architect, user experience professional, or reviewer, this book shows you how to create great technical information, from the product design to the user interface, topics, and other media. Thoroughly revised and updated Extensive new coverage of self-documenting interfaces and embedded assistance Updated practical guidelines and checklists Hundreds of new examples