Task orientation is one of the most important principles of technical communication. But it is also a more difficult concept than it might at first seem. Part of the problem is the vocabulary of tasks. When we urge writers to be task oriented, we usually contrast it to a different style, which we often call […]
Reader’s and writer’s goals are not always in harmony.
Noz Urbina asks, Is Communication Mired in the Past? Well, yes, obviously. Most of the tech comms world is still making books in FrameMaker. But also no, because the problem is more profound than the words “mired in the past suggest”. People get mired in things through carelessness or misfortune. They want to get out, […]
Just back from JoAnn Hackos’ CMS/DITA conference, where it became clear that even in a conference dedicated to a topic-based authoring methodology, most people are still writing books. Certainly, they are writing them in the form of topics, but then stitching them together into books. The fundamental product is still a book. (more…)
The defining characteristic of the the modern reader is impatience. This is not a matter of moral or intellectual decline in the Internet age; it is simply a matter of supply and demand. No one willingly treks down to the village well with buckets in their hands once they have indoor plumbing. (more…)
Organizing information is no longer the responsibility of the writer. (more…)