Adeline POUMAROUX, Marina LAY, Solène CAUDRON, Néda EL HADJ-MIMOUNE
Paris Cité University, July 2022
When we say someone is creative, we usually refer to their artistic skills. But is that really the only way people can be creative? What about creativity in the workplace? We took an interest in creativity in technical communication, and particularly if there is a discrepancy between how technical writers and the rest of technical communicators perceive their own creativity in the workplace. This paper is based on a survey of 55 technical communicators with various roles within the industry, who were asked about their scope for creativity at work, their personal approach to it, as well as its impact in building their career.
The results allowed us to determine how technical communicators define creativity, if they view themselves as creative and the tools they use at work. Our study suggests that there is a strong link between the feelings of creativity and flexibility. Associating creativity with innovation, the diversification of missions and tools at work inspire professionals to develop new solutions and skills.
Read the full article in PDF: What Inhibits or Enhances Creativity in Technical Communication
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.
Read the full article in PDF: Information processing and technical writing