The transversality of a technical communicator

Lyticia KADJITE, Camille KUI, Céline NGUYEN

M2 CTM, Université Paris Cité, July 2023


Technical communicators are at the heart of product development. They take on many different roles, but first and foremost they are the instructors, the link between the engineer and the user. For the general public, they transform technical documentation into a language that is structured, clear, precise, and, above all, intelligible to the target audience. But what are the other facets and responsibilities that qualify them as technical communicators?

From word processing to design, from website development to information architecture, technical communicators must be able to handle it all. But how transversal is a technical communicator? Do they take on the job of another profession? Or from other departments? What are the limits of technical communicators and the challenges they may face in their career? How diverse are the tools that a technical communicator must master to help in the design of product documentation? This leads us to the central inquiry of our research: to what extent does the transversality of a technical communicator impact the evolution of the job?

Through the lens of transversality, we aim to provide valuable insights on the advancement of technical communication practices and help professionals thrive. We will also take a look at technical communication as a profession, from its origins to its future, and finish off with some end thoughts about the current professional landscape based on our survey.

Read the full article in PDF: The transversality of a technical communicator

The never-ending debate: DITA or…?


Paris Cité University, July 2023


The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), introduced in 2001 at
IBM and launched to the public in 2005, has set new standards in technical
documentation practices, meeting the needs of both companies and technical
writers. Nonetheless, as the field of technical writing has evolved over the last
two decades, it is essential to assess whether DITA continues to live up to its
reputation as a universal solution in the face of the emergence of other
To get to the bottom of this, we conducted a survey among 34 technical
writers around the world. The aim of our research is to analyze the current
relevance of DITA in modern technical documentation practices, examining its
advantages and limitations, and exploring alternative solutions. The article
looks at important considerations for the adoption of DITA, such as content
strategy, cost analysis, and tool selection. In addition, it addresses the growing
popularity of alternative solutions such as Markdown, which offer simplicity
and ease of implementation.

Read the full article in PDF: The never-ending debate: DITA or …?

The impact of a technical writer shortage within an organization

Camille Bouillard, Kenza Benhassine, Georgina Gilmore

Paris Cité University, July 2023


The purpose of this article is to verify that well-written documentation
has an impact on the success of a brand and has an impact on customer
service costs. The methods and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that can
analyze performance will be identified and analyzed using a survey and
through research.
To examine the impact of technical writers on company performance, we
explored whether companies don’t hire technical writers when they need
them. To do this we conducted a survey.
According to our research, technical writers seem to perceive a clear link
between their work and company performance. Documentation impacts
product usage by end users and costs for companies to operate and produce.
Cost is particularly impacted through user demand for customer service.
Experts and professionals have identified ways to measure company
performance, although their application does not appear straightforward for
all. This was demonstrated when we interviewed a group of technical writers
on how to measure the impact of technical writers on company performance
in practice. In this scenario, respondents were more skeptical about the
methods mentioned by respondents of the questionnaire.

Read the full article in PDF: Impact of technical writers on company performance

Videos and minimalism, a conflict in technical writing


Paris Cité University, July 2023


Throughout our technical writing courses, we learned that we must
implement a minimalist approach to our writing. Technical documentation
must be straight to the point, simplify access to information, and filter out
any unnecessary details. Minimalism in technical writing has been clearly
defined since the 1980s. This definition and the advice on minimalist
practices leave out visual elements such as illustrations and videos even
though videos are becoming ever more present in technical documentation.
Thus, we decided to make the distinction between written and visual
minimalism. As visual minimalism stems from minimalism, we can define it
as simplifying technical documentation by cutting off all unnecessary visual

Through this research article, we wished to study how visual minimalism
and videos are used in technical documentation. Specifically, we wondered
how technical writers perceived the use of videos in the context of visual

As technical communicators can work on a large variety of projects, we
wanted to reach as many professionals in technical communication as
possible to ask their opinions on the matter. Are videos and minimalist
documentation compatible?

Read the full article in PDF: Videos and minimalism, a conflict in technical writing

Can Technical Communicators Benefit from AI Text Generators?


Paris Cité University, July 17 2023


ChatGPT changed (almost) everyone’s lives this year, we all started to
worry about our future and wonder if AI could replace us in a few years.
With this article research, we wanted to see how technical communicators can
use these new tools for their benefit instead of being fearful of their future.
This paper is based on a survey of 46 professionals, with more than 50% with
jobs related to the technical communication field. The respondents were
asked about their knowledge and their use of AI text generators.

The results allowed us to determine the benefits and the limits of AI text
generators for technical communicators. Our study suggests that quite a few
professionals already use AI tools to help them gain time and be more
efficient. Technical communicators often use them for proofreading,
rewriting sentences and translation.
Although AI text generators are becoming more and more popular among
professionals, they still have a lot to prove…

Read the full article in PDF: Can Technical Communicators Benefit from AI Text Generators