What makes or breaks a user-centric approach from a UX and technical writing perspective?

Perrine Palfray, Isabelle De Abreu Teixeira

Université de Paris, July 2020

Abstract

The term ‘user-centric approach’ steadily gained momentum over the last two decades, to become a popular professional standard in the digitized industries.

The simplest way to define user-centric is in contrast with a product-centric approach: the focus of the technical content is shifted from the product and what it can do, to the user and what they want to do.

The end goal is to make technical content more digestible for users, making them feel that the content is tailored to their individual needs.

Upon closer investigation, it becomes clear that user-centric technical content and the definition given to this approach to content creation varies greatly due to several environmental and individual factors.

What seems to have become an industry standard, is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of practices that are sometimes difficult to pinpoint with precision and accuracy.

What does this approach actually mean to professionals? What are the facilitating and the challenging factors that come with this new way of thinking technical content creation?

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