Technical writer teams are asked the impossible: chronically understaffed, fulfill growing expectations, while dealing with the disruptions of a barrage of technological innovations.
Technology however doesn’t need to be a curse, it could be a blessing: new technologies could also be used to help technical writers. In this series I want explore how artificial intelligence and new/rediscovered interaction models for software documentation could redefine technical writing and its deliverables:
Part 1: Documentation at a crossroads
What jobs do we need documentation to fulfill? Why is documentation under pressure? Why do we need AI in documentation?
Part 2: The Helpful co-worker model
Teaching and giving advice is part of human nature. Helpful co-workers as a support services: when are they successful and how do they fail?
Part 3: Clippy: misunderstood brilliance before its time
Microsoft’s Clippy was a great idea: sometimes it does pay off to give people advice even if they didn’t ask for it yet. So why did it fail?
Part 4: Repeating Clippy’s mistakes with Walkthroughs
Learning from Clippy’s mistakes. How can we define proactive support? How can we avoid repeating Clippy’s mistakes?
Part 5: Automated proactive support as embedded messages
What are our next steps to explore the application of AI in documentation? How can we use a messaging framework to send highly relevant chunks of content to a user?
Kristof van Tomme
Kristof Van Tomme is an open source strategist and architect. He is the CEO and co-founder of Pronovix. He’s got a degree in bioengineering and is a regular speaker at conferences in the API, developer relations, and technical writing communities. He is the host of the Developer Success & the Business of APIs and the API Resilience podcasts.