WTD as a community:
Future of WTD NA:
Federal government & digital services
Public service + open source + documentation = of the people, by the people, for the people
Content Design: generalist writer role, that includes: content strategy, interface copy, docs, blog posts, info architecture, etc.
Customers and Documentation
Information sources for documentation
Tech writers and the support team should join forces.
API documents are all about answering questions
Red Hat: everything is open-source
Make upstream docs:
“Every page is page one. Do not assume the reader will read your doc in order.”
The user experience is more important than the company's business drives.
Context of a README:
Content of a README:
The best READMEs give you confidence about the project even if the README does not answer all your questions.
Problem > Challenge > Opportunity
Documentation can be in the user interface (UI) rather than a manual.
Improve the UI with:
How To Write Better Docs:
Simplify your content whenever possible
How Twitter, Microsoft, Rackspace, and Balsamiq write the docs.
Interesting perspectives about the documentation problems that were solved, tools to solve the problems, and internal cultural changes.
How to write internal docs at fast-moving organizations:
Talk to your team about documentation
Make plans & practice sharing all the time
Nothing is perfect.
CSAT = Customer Satisfaction
Use customer comments to improve your documentation.
CSAT is an absolute necessity to determine if customers are satisfied.
Learn about the user’s needs.
Use Equations in Documentation
Ways to Improve Human Connection
Good writing is more than adhering to rules, it is about connecting with the reader.
We can bring elements of fiction writing to documentation and improve the documentation.
1 Be the CEO of documentation.
- Define a vision.
2 Pitch your vision.
- Drive your vision, make it happen.
3 Understand the market, product, and users.
4 Ask why?
5 Be proactive.
6 Treat words as tools.
7 Coach others.
- Help others to create documentation, share your knowledge.