Sunday, March 22, 2009

How Can User Interface Design Skills Influence Technical Communication?

On the subject of revolutionizing the field of technical communication, read this little piece on how changing a simple form process on a web site increased a company's sales by $300 million.

The moral of the story is: get the hell out of the user's way and get him or her to what he or she wants, now.

Too much of our technical communication is about what we HAVE to present, or about our branding, our legal requirements, our business goals, or about anything except the reader.

We have to ask the questions, very seriously: how do people read our stuff? Why do people read our stuff? And whatever the answers are, that's what we should be giving them. Everything else is in the way.

So if the TOC, the cover, the tables, the figures, the indices, the words, or even the paper, is in the way, get it out of the way.

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