Category: Features

The Need for a Mobile-First Technical Documentation Strategy

Houston, we have a problem. And it’s a big one in need of action. Right now! Technical communication as a discipline needs to be overhauled. Not completely, but in my opinion a good makeover is in order. Our old ideas about who we are—and what we do—are outdated. It’s time for us to adjust to the world around us and start creating content of value to our customers. And that means we’re going to need a few new tricks in our bag. When I say tricks, I don’t mean software, although chances are the software you’re using today hasn’t been… Read the rest

Native Mobile App Development Gets GUI

By Neil Perlin | Fellow When Windows Help, Microsoft’s pre-HTML online help format, appeared in 1988, authors worked in the code. That changed in 1991, when Doc-To-Help and RoboHelp, the first HATs (help authoring tools), hid the code behind a GUI (graphic user interface). The Web followed this path, with authors typing HTML codes by hand until GUI tools like Sausage Software’s HotDog appeared around 1995. This code-to-GUI path is now repeating itself for mobile apps. I predict that it will have the same effect as the first HATs and Web tools—changing authoring from an esoteric job done by a… Read the rest

Writing for Mobile Devices: Toward a New Heuristic

By Stephanie Chacharon | Member Mobile technology is clearly here to stay. As such, this disruptive technology introduces a new set of challenges for technical communicators. In recent years, we’ve been lectured endlessly on how to “write for the Web,” but—due largely to its relative infancy—very little guidance exists on how to write and edit content for consumption on mobile devices (a few notable exceptions are provided in the Suggested Reading section at the end of this article). In my professional life, I’m surrounded by top talent in mobile engineering, user experience (UX), and design. These mobile innovators not only… Read the rest