The limits of video implementation in technical communication

Jordan Bernardi, Thomas Jarillon, François D’araujo

Paris Diderot University – 07/18/2021


Technical communication follows the perpetual advances in technological trends. It leverages every tool at its disposal to efficiently develop and propose the most relevant technical content to reach its critical target audience. Videos constitute a highly effective medium for capturing and conveying a wide array of information to achieve this goal. The immediacy brought by videos as well as the comprehensive sensory experience they propose are tributes to their demonstrative strength. But if videos constitute such a powerful tool, why are they not used everywhere in technical communication?
This research article examines the pertinence of videos in technical communication by exposing their potential limitations according to several criteria: People in charge, univocal set of best practices, narrative aspect, and comparison with written documentation.
Reviewing generic existing literature on the subject of videos constituted the first step of this study.
A survey and a heuristic evaluation were then conducted to analyze and assess the position of videos in the technical communication landscape while exploring the different limitations to video implementation in this specific framework.
The results gathered through the heuristic evaluation and the survey effectively completed the bibliography by providing more recent data on this rapidly evolving medium. These served in identifying some of the current practices and limitations that we can observe in today’s technical communication environment.
Although videos are recognized as a real added value to software documentation, they have limitations that all have a common denominator: Lack of time. While one of the biggest challenges of technical writing is to best reflect the products being described, written documentation still seems to be the only one to predominate due to its unmatched ability to be quickly updated.

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The impact of technical writing on accessibility

LABATTE Johanna, L. M., MOREIRA Aurélien, USLUCAN Sena

University of Paris, 15/07/2021


Accessibility addresses solutions offered for disabled people to have the same use of an object as an able person. Most people associate accessibility with physical objects that physically disabled people cannot use. However, accessibility actually accommodates a much larger group of users and is relevant for any product, including the web. Anyone at any point in their lives can become disabled, even temporarily. Furthermore, accessibility improves usability. Accessibility aims to make web content usable by as many people as possible.

Over the past decades, accessibility has become a matter of law in many different countries such as the United States, France, China, India, or Germany for example. Accessibility has also become a way for companies to improve their brand image while it allows people with disabilities to access web content. In the end, everybody wins.

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Inclusive writing and user-centric strategies in technical communication


Paris University, July 2021


Documentation and technical communication have gone beyond the stage of secondary support, to become a necessary product while creating a product that reflects its target users is now a common strategy. Then, could inclusive writing be relevant in technical communication to meet users’ expectations?
By interviewing technical communication professionals on their products and experience, cross-checked with research, we are seeking to answer this question. From technical guides to marketplace interfaces, we were able to identify how inclusivity could be integrated into their products and learn when it added value.
While businesses take every precaution to be seen as inclusive, we could imagine that it would show in the content they create. Inclusive writing is the ultimate lever to women and men’s equality in language. Yet, its cultural and political association added with the variety of its form can make any company think twice before incorporating it.
Technical communicators are confronted with a brand-new way of writing content that can sometimes go against the sacred rules of Technical Communication1. At the same time, it implies great change management, not only for users but for collaborators as well. Even though technology might answer most of the drawbacks and complications, is inclusive writing worth the risk?

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Information Processing and Technical Writing: The Importance of Optimizing Users’ Working Memory

Mélanie PIERRE, Amélie CARON, Coline MAGNIER, Margaux ZANINI

Paris Diderot University, July 15, 2021


The simpler the better, you have probably heard this sentence many times. It is  particularly true in technical writing. It has been proven that having more than seven chunks  of information or using useless information in a technical document can affect users working memory as well as an unstructured document. However, there is little research on the nature of the link between working memory and technical writing.
Our article examines the correlation between cognitive psychology and technical writing and more especially the importance of optimizing the user’s working memory when writing technical documents. To understand the impact of an altered procedure on the realization of a task, we conducted an experiment which consisted of a comparison between two drawing procedures: one which aimed at optimizing working memory and the other which aimed at altering it. Participants shared their drawings and told us the difficulties they faced for eachof the procedures.

Our research and the analysis of the conducted experiment allowed us to draw the conclusion that technical writers should always consider their user’s working memory to ensure that the instructions are easy to follow for every age and capacity range. The structure and content of documentations can help users to group information together and thus help improve their working memory while reading instructions.

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The adaptation of e-learning to the learner’s preferences: What are the benefits and the limitations of personalized e-learning environments?

Inès Lavandier, Julie Jacquelin and Héloïse Huet

July 2021


This study explores the personalization of e-learning environments. The main
question we would like to answer in this research article is: What are the benefits and the limitations of personalized e-learning environments? This question encompasses both ends of the spectrum. The results of our research suggest that personalized e-learning environments should provide a better learning experience because it encapsulates the learner’s preferred methods of learning. While traditional e-learning focuses on mass-learning, standard methods with few variations and interactions, the personalization of e-learning should facilitate knowledge retention and be more user-centric.

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Action in E-learning

Clothilde BASCOU, Tingting JIANG, Sofia MOISEYEV, Adeline RITO

Paris Diderot University, July 14th, 2021


To have a qualified workforce, companies invest in new digital strategies to develop their employees’ skills. The effectiveness of the training content is at the heart of their concerns. Contractors sell them interactive training content with the argument that it is indeed effective for knowledge retention and skills development. But companies need to know the validity of that argument to invest in the right direction.
This research evaluates the impact of action in e-learning processes on the effectiveness of online training. The data was collected through the completion of two e-learning modules (action-oriented and actionless), and surveys. Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model was used to measure the results.
The study results suggest that the effectiveness of e-learning can be improved through the use of neurosciences, personification of training, application of e-doing, eye tracking and social learning.

Read the full article in PDF: Action in E-learning