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Is Technical Writing Part of UX? By Janet M. Six Published: August 24, 2015 Send your questions to Ask UXmatters and get answers from some of the top professionals in UX. In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts discusses the need for the work of technical writers to be an integral part of the UX design process. In my monthly column, Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts answers our readers’ questions about a broad range of user experience matters. The following experts have contributed answers to this edition of Ask UXmatters: Q: I am a digital writer for a financial services/insurance company.

“[Technical communications] professionals are usually the first to point out usability issues. … When they’re brought in at the end of the process, they don’t have an opportunity to influence the design as they should.” “You are absolutely correct,” replies Leo. “Now, counter all of that with a paraphrase of Don Norman’s adage: ‘If you have to hang a sign on it, you’ve lost the battle.’ Content Is the Experience. Tech Writer This Week for August 8-9, 2015. Simplicity is under-rated. A corollary to that rule notes that the bigger the organization, the more complicated simple becomes. Witness the number of times you’re invited to meetings to discuss how you will plan a meeting that will happen at some point in the future. In our personal lives it’s much the same. How hard is it to find the little black dress for that important event, or schedule a tee time that fits your buddies’ schedules?

Perhaps it’s human nature to make things more complicated than they really are … generally, the more complicated the feat, the better the story. I could simply say that I moved to North Carolina in 1997. Simple can actually be fun. Content developers face this problem all the time. Thought leaders in content, design and experience have much to say on simplicity and effectiveness. Float on over and check out the rest in the latest edition of Tech Writer This Week. Okt. Understanding the Business. Boxes and Arrows is delighted to share this excerpt from Kim Goodwin’s excellent Designing for the Digital Age. When I recently taught a class on user experience design, I found few good resources on gathering business requirements. I was so happy when I cracked open Kim’s book and found exactly what my students needed. And thanks to her generosity, and Wiley’s, we are able to reprint the chapter in its entirety.

~Christina Wodtke, January 2013 While we designers like to think of ourselves as advocating for end users, we’re ultimately responsible for helping our customers: the employers or clients who hire us to help achieve certain organizational goals. This means every project should begin with understanding what the product or service is meant to accomplish. Why is the project important?

Understanding the business starts with stakeholder interviews. It’s crucial for the design team to establish relationships with these stakeholders as early as possible. Beware invisible executives. InfoDevelopmentWorld sur Twitter : "Content Leadership: Bridging Silos and Building Teams at @InfoDevWorld w/ @leenjones #CX #UX.

Okt. Content Leadership: Bridging Silos and Building Teams Wednesday, September 30 — 9:00am-5:00pm Colleen Jones Principal Content Science Without the right people collaborating behind the scenes, you can't sustain even the most brilliant content strategy. There is no content fairy to plan, execute, maintain, and optimize your content, plus ensure all of your different stakeholders understand and contribute appropriately. There is only the content leader. In this full-day workshop facilitated by Colleen Jones, you will gain knowledge and skills to lead your organization’s content efforts. What You'll Learn The value of having an empowered content team or set of teams: Four principles of change management applied to content.

About As principal of the consultancy Content Science, Colleen has led strategic initiatives for clients ranging from Dell to Equifax to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prioritization is deciding. How to Use Persona Empathy Mapping. “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”-Theodore Roosevelt Empathy: it’s a buzzword in the UX design world. Everybody’s doing it! But what exactly are they doing? There isn’t a quick “Empathy Filter” that we can apply to our work or our team, no formula to pump out results, and no magic words to bring it forth. There is, however, a simple workshop activity that you can facilitate with stakeholders (or anyone responsible for product development, really) to build empathy for your end users. At Cooper, we call it Persona Empathy Mapping. Empathy mapping helps us consider how other people are thinking and feeling. Image from Gamestorming. We add a twist to the technique by focusing on personas during post-synthesis workshops with our stakeholders.

Sketch: Persona Empathy Mapping How does Persona Empathy Mapping help? Persona empathy mapping done on large sheets of paper. Case Study Mock-up of completed worksheet. “Wow, I’ve never thought of Dan as a real person before.” A Complete Guide to Crawling Inside Your Customer's Head With Empathy Maps. Love what you build. Build what you love. 10 things Product Managers must do I love being a Product Manager. Hunter Walk defines product management as being where Science meets Art. He's right. It's a unique role in that it touches on all aspects of a business.

Ty Ahmad-Taylor elaborates further, explaining: “Product lies at the intersection of business, design and engineering. It is your role to educate business people about design and engineering, engineers about business and design, designers about engineering and business.” Throughout the process you read a ton of email, look at many screens, and create relationships with a lot of awesome people. The product is your baby. Everyone can keep learning and improving; I strive to do so every day. 1) Own the story.

Products need a story and the PM is the Chief Storyteller. 2) Know your user. Inside and out. Of even greater importance is to go where your users are. 3) Help your team. As Ty Ahmad-Taylor’s quote above alludes to, it’s extremely important to help your product team. Balpha : This @trello password field... CraigLuna : The real side of software... Tim Brown urges designers to think big. Johnmaeda : Steve Jobs on the disease of... IBM's French R&D lab is paving the way for their new mobile-focused business. When people think about the most dominant tech giants today, many often overlook the granddaddy of them all, IBM.

Having evolved profoundly since its founding over 100 years ago and grown into to 430k employee-strong, $100 billion/yr company, IBM continues to be a tech powerhouse, particularly in enterprise products and services (e.g. social enterprise, cloud computing, enterprise mobility services, systems and services, etc). Despite their mega-size, innovation continues to be at the heart of IBM’s goal to “make the world a smarter place”. They’re continuously developing new technologies, products and services and which is illustrated by the fact that they’ve been #1 in terms of US patents filings for the last 20+ years. In order to drive this continuous innovation, IBM looks both externally (130+ acquisitions completed since 2000) and internally, via such activities as with a network of Innovation Labs around the globe. Forging a deeper link with the startup ecosystem. BarookG : Ironic how eye drops have the... Mm: Accidentally tried to assemble...

DJSnM: This is a real dialogue box... Letter from the UK: Design-Led User Documentation. Visma Software has invited me to speak at their developer conference, which is being held at the end of March in Latvia. I’ll be talking about how some major software companies are rethinking their approach to user documentation. This approach could be called “design-led documentation.” For example, IBM is introducing a design-led approach to software design. Talking to a technical writer I know at IBM UK, I understand this design-led approach includes how they’ll be designing the user documentation. Citrix is another company taking a design-led approach.

So what is meant by a design-led approach? “IBM Design Thinking is a broad, ambitious new approach to re-imagining how we design our products and solutions. … Quite simply, our goal—on a scale unmatched in the industry—is to modernize enterprise software for today’s user who demands great design everywhere, at home and at work.” According to Matt Varghese, IX lead at Citrix: What do you think?

Please share your thoughts below. Teaching to See. What happens when placeholder text doesn’t get replaced. By Rian on 24 February 2014 One of the many things I do that proves that I need to get out more is collect examples of placeholder text that ends up in a final interface. But I’ve also noticed that the issue happens more and more in the offline world as well.

As I looked through my folder this morning I realized that, in the interest of science, I should post some of my favorites here. If you have any other good examples, please let me know! Let’s start with a very common one. Even though error messages are extremely important, they’re often forgotten about: I have a feeling that this was done very late one night: Speaking of disgruntled employees: Placeholder text shows up surprisingly often in newspapers. At least we know what the font size should be: Pull quotes are optional: I often feel the same way about sportsball: Who cares about these people: But I think my all-time favorite is still this teaser that went up all over Cape Town one morning:

User don’t hate change. They hate you. — Design + Startups. Recently, more than the color of the leaves on the trees has been changing. Everyone seems to be redesigning. Apple’s OS7, Slate, new features on Twitter, Google, the Yahoo logo (and much of Yahoo) — even my kid’s school website. And users are angry, annoyed, exhausted, eye-rolling… not delighted. And so the usual comment comes: users hate change. Now this is a funny comment, considering that the entire silicon valley has been built on the fact that users like change so much they pay for it. What’s not being said is Users don’t hate change. In Eager Sellers and Stoney Buyers, John Gournville points out that getting consumers to adopt a new product is incredibly difficult “First, people evaluate the attractiveness of an alternative based not on its objective, or actual, value but on its subjective, or perceived, value.

Fourth, and most important, losses have a far greater impact on people than similarly sized gains, a phenomenon that Kahneman and Tversky called “loss aversion.” Designing People-friendly Organizations. Domestic Folklore, or Washing Machines for Men | fabric of things. A selection of the Ginetex Textile Care Labels BERG announced Cloudwash this week, a very smart (in both senses of the word) prototype that uses their Devshield to turn a regular washing machine into a connected washing machine. Washes can be scheduled and programmed from your phone, and – on pressing a button – you can order laundry detergent directly from Amazon. It is one of the most useful and interesting expressions of the Connected Home that I’ve come across – and, like the best design fiction, it brings with it a set of complex new futures that touch equally on the mundane and the political.

And it does this in an interesting way. It is, in other words, a washing machine for men. And this is both intriguing and discomforting because, in case you hadn’t noticed, Laundry is a Feminist Issue. Why can’t men learn how to use washing machines? Now I realise this is sort of crass. Secret Language of Domesticity Like it or not, there’s a Secret Language of Domesticity. Domestic Futures. Mattetti: As a programmer and a parent,...