There are no Prerequisites

There are few worse ideas in technical communication than the idea that procedures have prerequisites. There are no prerequisites. There are only steps. To illustrate: Last weekend I paid a visit to some family members who were camping at a nearby campground. They were struggling to inflate the new air mattress they had bought. The mattress […]

Continue Reading 24
Pilot reading checklist.

Docs that are Part of Larger Systems

It is easy to think of documentation as simply the reader’s companion, which they use when they need help with a product or service. But a lot of documentation is more than this, it is part of an industrial or institutional system. Designing and writing documentation to be part of such a system can be […]

Continue Reading 1

Design for Wayfinding

Much of the time we spend with technical documentation is concerned with wayfinding. That is, it is not about performing the actual operation, but about finding which operation to perform, and finding the piece of content that describes the operation in a form that we can understand. Note that there are two distinct components to […]

Continue Reading 8