Creativity in Technical Communication: How to combine creativity with technical communication standards ?

Isis AGBLEVON, Anissa GNABA, Mathilde THIEFFINE

Paris Diderot University, July 2020

Abstract

Is technical communication a creative job? Technical communication remains a domain that is often unknown or misunderstood. People tend to think that technical communicators only write procedures and follow guidelines. As technical communicators, we wanted to combine our experience and vision of our work to discuss the vast subject of creativity.

This matter came to us after several discussions about our respective jobs, and tasks. We realized that even though we study the same principles of technical communication, the work we do in our companies can be very different from one another. All of us are confronted to norms and standards that we need to follow, but does it really mean that we cannot be creative?

Read the full article in PDF: Creativity in Technical Communication

Blended learning, analyzing the evolution of a training format

T. Briget, C. Calogeropoulos, N. Jeanroy

Paris Diderot University, August 15th 2020

Abstract

With the emergence of online training programs, we have witnessed the emergence of online learning platforms. Some of them are video-based and sometimes offer interaction between participants and teachers. Knowledge management has become primordial for companies. Training programs are flourishing. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about reflections on training methods, with blended learning as the main focus.

Thus, in this study, we focus on how businesses implement blended learning in
their companies, based on learner and trainer feedback. Surveys and interviews offer valuable information on the state of blended learning in businesses today and highlight the different strategies businesses use when it comes to sharing their knowledge, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different training formats.

Read the full article in PDF: Blended learning, analyzing the evolution of a training format

Call for speakers: 9th International Conference on Technical Communication

You are invited by Clillac-Arp Research Laboratory and the EILA Department of University
Paris Diderot:

Friday 29 January 2021, from 10.00 – 17.00
Visioconference (Zoom)

We are looking for speakers to come and share practices and thoughts on the following
points:

  • The place taken by technical communication within a organisation with the typically associated business: Product, support, marketing, HR…
  • The evolution of skills, methods and tools.
  • The challenge of technical communication training curricula to cover varied needs.
  • The possible career paths in technical communications.

Talks will be 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes for questions and answers.

The conference is free to all.

We accept papers in French and in English.

Please send a 200-word summary before 15 December 2020 to
patricia.minacori (at) eila.univ-paris-diderot.fr

Please include in your e-mail, your Name, University/Company, as well as a short
biography.

More about the conference: 9th International Conference on Technical Communication: Evolutions of the Discipline
Scientific committee: Patricia Minacori, Marie Girard

9th International Conference on Technical Communication: Evolutions of the Discipline

Evolution of the technical communication discipline

From device documentation to digital training, from UX writing to video tutorials, technical communication is a discipline that covers varied activities. It seems like a single job title will never cover every facet of the profession.
During the next 9th International Conference on technical communication, we will explore the job market, training curricula and evolutions of the trade:

  • The place taken by technical communication within a organisation with the typically associated business: Product, support, marketing, HR…
  • The evolution of skills, methods and tools.
  • The challenge of technical communication training curricula to cover varied needs.
  • The possible career paths in technical communications.

Friday 29 January 2021, from 10.00 – 17.00 Paris Time (UTC+1)

Program

10.00 – 10.10

Introduction

Patricia Minacori and Marie Girard

10.10 – 10.40

Presentation of research projects [PDF]

Master’s Students In Technical Communication, Université de Paris

10.40 – 11.10

Evolution of the profession [PDF]

Elisabeth Closs, Karlsruhe University,  Yvonne Cleary, Limerick University

  • For anyone who would like to join the university network, please email Yvonne Cleary (yvonne.cleary (at) ul.ie) who will add you to the mailing list.
11.10 – 11.40
DITA Molière: A community to support the growing adoption of DITA standard in France [PDF]

Dominique Trouche, WhP

Companies Using DITA

11.40 – 12.30

Networking breakout sessions: What brings technical communicators together?

12.30 – 13.30

Lunch break

13.30 – 14.00

Examining the value of technical communication graduate degrees in non-academic professions [PDF]

Meghalee Das, Texas Tech University, Samantha Casertano, John McClellan, Texas State University

14.00 – 14.30

Information architecture: which skills, roles, and careers? [PDF]

François Violette, JobTeaser

14.30 – 15.00

Designing our way out of information pollution: how technical communicators are leading the shift toward an ecology of information. [PDF]

Alexandre Dias Da Silva, Consultant

15.00 – 15.30

Networking breakout sessions: How will technical communication careers evolve?

15.30 – 16.00

From tech comm to marketing: a tangled journey [PDF]

Michael Priestley, IBM

  • Beyond Silos : https://www.editions-hermann.fr/livre/9791037002754
16.00 – 16.30

Future tech comm trends – Differing opinions, and why everyone could be right [PDF]

Ellis Pratt, Cherryleaf

  • Sarah O’Keefe – Scriptorium. Scriptorium is a consummate content strategy company.
16.30 – 17.00

Community Engagement in Technical Communication Pedagogy [PDF]

Laura Gonzalez, University of Florida

Recordings will be available shortly.

8th International Conference on Technical Communication: Designing Experiences

Design d'expérience

Digital services transform our everyday experience, first through screens (websites, e-learning, online help, videos and social networks), and now through the physical world (voice assistants, augmented reality, blended learning). Technical communication has always had very strong ties with experience design. Now communication and design practices need to evolve to better support hybrid experiences across the digital and physical worlds.

Les projets de recherche en M2 Communication Technique Multilingue [PDF]

Marie Girard et les étudiants du M2 CTM

Assistants vocaux, comment puis-je vous aider? [PDF]

Maaike Coppens, Head UX design, M Creation, Paris

La réalité virtuelle au service de l’apprentissage [PDF]

Pierre Marole, Responsable partenariats, Digital and Human, Paris

Métadonnées : au service des expériences utilisateurs [PDF]

François Violette, Information Architect, ReachFive

Design responsable : concevoir pour l’avenir [PDF]

Aurélie Baton, UX Designer, IBM France

Que se passe-t-il lorsque vous mettez 50 rédacteurs techniques au sein d’une équipe de Design [PDF]

Sarah Baillot, SAP France

Quand les mots influencent le design et les interfaces [PDF]

Amandine Agic, Content Strategist, ACCOR

Camille Promérat, UX Writer, Freelance

Building UX As A Strategy for Growth [PDF]


Greta Goetz,PhD, Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade

 

The added value of videos in technical writing

Claudia ANTHONYPILLAI, Laura BARIBAUD, Louise CLAUSTRAT

Paris Diderot University, July 15, 2019

Abstract

Videos play an important role in our lives, as well as in the daily lives of technical writers. Technical documentation has evolved throughout time and beyond written text, with multiple tools to choose from. This makes us wonder, to what extent is the introduction of videos in technical writing necessary?

Our research article seeks to answer this question, presenting the results of different tests and questionnaires. We will be able to determine how a user reacts to different sources of information, as well as how user experience affects the way a technical writer produces documentation.

Users have different learning styles, one can be verbal and the other visual, and a technical writer should keep that in mind when producing documents. Since everyone is different, having a video as a source helps and includes more people. However videos can be restricting depending on the situations.

Just like user needs, technical writing evolves, and so does technology. With the introduction of various forms of videos and the ability to integrate them in multiple platforms, a technical document can become more than just a traditional user guide. GIFs, chatbots and AI-powered applications are bringing new life to technical writing. Nevertheless, is video still really worth it?

Read the full article

The added value of videos in technical writing (PDF)

What are the challenges of implementing accessibility standards for technical writers?

Selly BAL – Adel Yann BENZENATI – Heritiana RATSIMBAZAFY

Paris Diderot University, 2018/2019

Abstract

Living with a disability in our society doesn’t necessarily mean needing constant care. However, it means having to adapt everyday: because the world we live in has not adapted to disabilities yet. This is a comment we can apply to technical communication, an activity in which the purpose is to make information accessible to an audience, but where accessibility guidelines are still rare to be found. We attempted with this paper to inquire about the current situation of accessibility to people with disabilities, focusing on visual and hearing impairment. We conducted a survey on technical communication professionals with different experiences and contacted various technical writers with the objective of presenting the norms that already exist in terms of accessibility and showing what’s still missing – with that, we tried to present an analysis of the reasons for the scarcity of norms in technical writing.

Read the full article

What are the challenges of implementing accessibility standards for technical writers? (PDF)

Determining whether DITA is good for you

C. Canart, M. Garnier, H. Morceau

Paris Diderot University, August 30th 2019

Abstract

Since it was released to the public in 2005, DITA has been adopted by an increasing   number of firms, and it has become one of the most popular standards for technical    documentation. The DITA standard was designed with the intent to meet the needs of   any firm and is sometimes thought of as a universal solution, but is this truly the case?   When considering a DITA implementation, one should make sure that DITA is really suited   to their particular situation and needs, and that it can be implemented successfully within   the company. In this paper, we tried to understand how one can determine whether DITA   is the right solution for their company before taking the leap and undertaking a content   migration. For the purpose of this paper, we gathered data through a survey aimed at both   DITA and non-DITA users, a review of existing resources, and several interviews of DITA   experts and representatives of technical writing solution firms. Whether DITA is right for a   company doesn’t seem to be wholly dependant on the size of the company, as one might   think at first, but has more to do with the technical know-how of the personnel and the   budget allocated to the documentation team.

Read the full article

Determining whether DITA is good for you (PDF)

Knowledge management in business strategy

NOTH Rosalie, RENARD Marion, THIBEAUD Hugo

Paris Diderot University, 09/15/2019

Abstract

In recent years, knowledge has become a factor of production in the same way as traditional land, labor and capital. For some, it is even the main factor of production of today’s companies, which tend to create a knowledge management service or to outsource it. The purpose of this research is to understand the importance of Knowledge Management (KM) in companies nowadays, and how it can serve the business strategy. Thus, this article will explain the definition and evolution of KM, then depict the challenges associated with KM and business strategies, and finally explore the way a management system is implemented. Thanks to all these elements, we will be able to understand how the KM system becomes essential in business strategy, and when.

To stick close to reality, we conducted interviews in two companies: one that has implemented a KM system a few years ago, and another without, which allowed us to show two opposite ways of dealing with knowledge in companies, and therefore show the link between KM and business strategies.

Read the full article

Knowledge management in business strategy (PDF)

 

The impact of global language on technical writing

Typhaine BERTEZ, Céleste WICKER

Paris Diderot University, September 2019

Abstract

Technical writing is a profession which evolves and spreads very quickly. From its beginning to today, it has increasingly been recognized as a necessary profession, and as it continues to spread around the world, new questions about its evolution appear every day. One of these questions is related to the language used for technical communication. Now that globalization is at the heart of many companies, English is increasingly used as an international language, to the point that some companies publish technical documentation in English, even though they are not English or based in an English-speaking country. This evolution obviously has consequences for the writers and the companies, who either adapt or do not. When you start writing in a language that is not your mother tongue, you have to adapt your vocabulary and use a language that everybody can understand. Also, the way you write your documentation must change, as formatting rules differ from one country to another. These changes may not be that complicated if the writer is very familiar with the target language and if the company works mainly in an English-speaker market. But what if a French company, for example, which operates in France and in foreign countries writes all of its documentation in English? Would the budget for translation change? Would training for future writers change too? But, in the case of a national company that cannot adapt very quickly to a world that speaks and trades in English, how is it possible to evolve? And what are the consequences? Are there that many differences between an English-based company and a national company?

Read the full article

The impact of global language on technical writing (PDF)

The use of colors in technical writing

Cristiane FREITAS, Viviana MACALUSO

Paris University, July 2019

Abstract

We come from different cultural and educational backgrounds and decided to analyze and focus on how colors may influence readability and, therefore, comprehension on technical documentation.
This matter came after we browsed a website from a marketplace corporation and we noticed that there was a lack of harmony and synchronicity between its marketing and documentation website. We noticed it mainly because the visual identity, particularly the use of colors and icons, was absolutely discordant. It was remarkable that the two websites were developed by different teams, what could eventually reveal an internal noise in communication, or even some problem in the enterprise architecture.
A simple misuse of colors can reveal much more than aesthetics, design or layout. And this seemed quite impressive to us. The color approach however can be very large, with multi-disciplinary, underestimated, usually treated randomly and not too scientific under the gaze of the academic community. We want to show that it can be theory-based and, by means of a user test, we intend to prove – practically – that colors should be treated with the importance they deserve, far beyond aesthetics and layout.
After applying a user test, we noticed that users react differently face to face with a colored and a black and white document.

Read the full article

The use of colors in technical writing (PDF)

Augmented and Virtual Reality: Towards the Enhancement of User Experience

Marie Fabre, Samia Rhaliès, Florian Peeter

Université de Paris, July 2019

Abstract

Our world is increasingly virtual. Digitalization has been taking over every industry during the last few decades, and user experience and assistance is no exception. Reality and the virtual world were divided by a gap that seemed unbridgeable until recently. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) allow users to go beyond previous limitations. Users can learn and practice without being held back by the limitations of the real world.

AR and VR are not brand-new inventions. The praise they received the last few years is related to recent technical innovations such as advances in computational power, storage, graphics, and high-definition displays. These progresses opened the way to immersive technologies that were previously burdened with wires, heavy headsets, and poor graphics. Today, light, wireless hardware, and beautiful graphics immerse the user in a virtual world better than before. But innovation won’t stop there, as it is expected that $20,4 billion will be invested in AR and VR, an 68% increase 68% compared to the $12,1 billion spent in 2018. This growing interest for AR and VR is shared by a wide range of industries such as engineering, medicine, and even softwares.

Each finds its own in immersive reality. How do companies use AR and VR? To what extent do they enhance the User Experience? Are they the future of the user assistance, or just trendy gadgets?

After considering what are AR and VR and their usages, we will discuss their influence on User Experience (UX), their values, and what their future may be in the technical communication industry.

Read the full article

Augmented and virtual reality: Towards the enhancement of user experience (PDF)

7th International Conference on Technical Communication: Transforming Knowledge (2019)

7th International Conference on Technical Communication

Technical communication aims at transforming tacit knowledge into useful and usable content. During this year’s International Conference on Technical Communication, we explored the tools, methodologies and processes that make it possible to transform internal, individual knowledge into external, standardized content.

Les projets de recherche en M2 CDMM [PDF]

Marie Girard et les étudiants du M2 CDMM

Travailler avec les experts pour construire des formations digitales (e-learning) [PDF]

Agnès Mfayokurera, Consultante – fondatrice Triptik

Capitalisation des connaissances et ingénierie pédagogique [PDF]

Nicolas Sengmany (EXT IGDOC)

What Does The Future Hold For The Technical Communication Market? [PDF]

C.J. Walker, Firehead

Knowledge Management : au secours de la transformation [PDF]

Boris Durupt Zhou Knowledge Manager et coach outils collaboratifs – Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking (SGCIB)

Les communautés de pratiques – Maillon essentiel de la stratégie KM de l’entreprise [PDF]

Louis-Pierre Guillaume, Consultant – fondateur Amallte

Intelligence artificielle et rédaction scientifique : quels nouveaux enjeux pour la R&D des entreprises ? [PDF]

Charlie Grosman, Team Leader, Pierre Holat, Data Scientist, Richard Moutoucarpin,alternant L3 Pro redaction technique – F. Iniciativas

Transformer la connaissance ? [PDF]
Pascal Negros, Enseignant en ingénierie des connaissances, Ecole de Management, Sorbonne-Paris 1

Listen to the recordings on YouTube.

How many words make a technical writer?

Alice BRODBECK – Boris DURUPT – Marie PINQUIER

M2 CDMM 2017/2018 – Université Paris 7 Paris Diderot

Abstract

Technical writing has undergone drastic changes from its early beginnings to the advent of the Internet, adapting to all the technological innovations that punctuated the century since its conception. One of the most important changes being that technical writers do not spend as much time writing as was formerly expected of their profession. Instead, companies ask them to broaden their working scope from writing to taking care of whole documentation systems. Technical writers have gradually become technical communicators, mastering various skills – including but not limited
to writing.
However, the job title has not evolved as quickly as the profession: there seems to be a discrepancy between label and reality, which could be the explanation to a lack of recognition for technical communicators in Europe.
In light of this observation, we conducted a survey on 40 French technical communication experts and analyzed the existing literature on the topic. Our objective: find out why “technical writer” has become a catch-all term of technical communication.
Our journey starts at the origins of technical writing, continues with an overview of the profession’s representation in Europe and provides an analysis of the gaps between technical writers and technical communicators.

Read the full article (PDF):