Technical Communication - Fundamentals logo

Overview

This 2-day workshop introduces the real world of technical communication to new writers and relatively unexperienced writers. It guides the student through the entire content development process from understanding the role as technical communicator through effective dialog technique with SMEs to topic based authoring and single sourcing and wrapping up with quality assurance and publishing.

Write2Users has developed two unique concepts for describing the time-dependent and time-independent elements involved in technical communication. The workshop revolves around these two core concepts.

The mission of the class is to provide the student with relevant and up-to-date information about the technical communicator’s role, responsibilities, methods and procedures.

Target audience

The target audience is technical communicators/information developers with 0-5 years of experience.

Ticket

Agenda and learning points

Topic Learning points
Introduction
  • Setting the scene
  • Listing the student expectations
The core concepts
  • Time-dependent activities – The Cycle
  • Time-independent activities – The Cylinder
Technical Communicator
  • The roles of the modern technical communicator
  • Define your responsibilities and stick to them
  • Why are we communicators and not only writers?
Style Guide
  • Compile your best practices and rules in the team styleguide
  • Follow the corporate styleguide
  • Use industry standard guidelines, e.g. Microsoft Manual of Style
Subject Matter Experts
  • What is an SME?
  • How do you get the right information out of your SME?
  • How do you keep the information gathering process alive?
  • What are the SME’s responsibilities in relation to documentation?
Content planning
  • Learning the whiteboarding method
  • Categorize information
  • Outline the TOC
  • System flowcharts
TOC and Search
  • TOC examples
  • TOCs for multiple media (desktop web, print, mobile)
  • Search or Index?
  • Optimizing search in your help files
Planning and scoping
  • How do you plan and estimate projects?
  • Scoping your work is important – setting boundaries
  • Examples of planning tools
Topic based authoring
  • Learn topic based authoring
  • Information architecture
  • Content types
Single sourcing
  • Learning to single source
  • Benefits of single sourcing
  • Real-life implementations
Content development
  • The elements in the writing phase
  • Applied Simplified Technical English (STE)
  • Writing for localization
Quality assurance
  • Technical reviews
  • Copy editing and peer reviews
  • Create an editorial calendar
Publishing
  • The publishing checklist
  • Publishing multiple output formats without losing your overview
  • Pros and cons of available formats –
    web-based output, PDF, mobile output, etc.

Per Frederiksen

Per Frederiksen

Owner and founder of Write2Users

25 years experience in technical communication
Certified Madcap trainer and consultant
Localization Manager since 1997
Software trainer since 1997
Highly Commended Award in eHelp Online Help competition

Mette Nyberg

Mette Nyberg

Senior Technical Writer at Schneider Electric A/S, Denmark

25 years under her belt within technical communication
3 times STC award winner (online Help, Tutorial, a book)
International STC judge
Localization responsible since 1997
Managed doc teams at Microsoft