Category Archives: Usability studies

Readability tests

I once had a colleague/SME asking me if I used readability tests for checking the technical documentation. “Something like Flesch-Kincaid” he said. I had no idea what he was talking about. It sounded sinister with the name ‘Flesch-Kincaid’ and I … Continue reading

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Introductions to novels

This is not a technical writing topic, but about something I have thought for quite a while; why are introductions to novels at the beginning? Basically, are they introductions that you want to read at all. Do you not want … Continue reading

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My plain English might not be your plain English

There are a lot of words that are known to only specialists and can make non-specialists feel like outsiders. The Plain English Campaign in the UK and its sister organisations in other countries tries to confront the problem of specialist … Continue reading

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Creating headers in Ditamaps

I found it difficult to find relevant information on the web about how to create anything below a level-heading 2. In my Ditamaps the heading 2 is the topic level and therefore, as soon as a topic is added to … Continue reading

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Shall vs. Will

In an earlier post, one in which I was trying to be funny, I mentioned shall or indeed, shalt, as a sign that god was a technical writer. But, when do you use shall or will? What is the difference? … Continue reading

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Killing interest in your documentation and how to fix it

Imagine you are sitting on a train and looking out the window. The landscape you are passing through is flat and brown; fields at the bordering time of year between winter and spring. One field looks like another, with electrical … Continue reading

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You don’t read with your head but with your heart

As it is just after Valentine’s Day, I thought this would be an apt subject to write about. Technical writing is one of the most conservative corners of the documentation/writing world. We pull faces when we see a new¬†unapproved¬†word being … Continue reading

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