Write the Docs Prague 2019: talk previews

Write The Docs London
Write The Docs London
Public group

Google UK Ltd

1-13 St Giles High Street London WC2H 8AG · London

How to find us

Choose Tottenham Court Road tube station (Central line, Northern line). Address: London – CSG 1–13 St Giles High St London WC2H 8AG United Kingdom

Location image of event venue


This meetup is dedicated to talk reviews.

Have you submitted to Write the Docs Prague?
Would you like to do a pre-run of your talk?
Would you present your ideas to the local WTD community even if your talk did not get accepted to the big event?

We're looking for speakers!

Please ping us if you have a docs story to share – send a message here or ping us in the Slack channel.


Preliminary schedule

18:00 Doors open
18:00-18:45 Networking
18:45-19:00 Introduction
19:00-19:30 Jen Lambourne on how the UK gov adopted docs as code (WTD Prague talk preview)
19:30-19:45 Break
19:45-20:15 James Scott on the art of error messages (WTD Prague talk preview)
20:15-21:00 Lightning talks & Networking
21:00 Doors close


Summary of James Scott's talk

Error messages are so small and innocuous, engineers don't always give them the care and attention they deserve. If you get your error messaging wrong, it can not only lead to poor user experience, customer frustration, low product satisfaction, and in worst cases, ridicule on social media.

I want to share some examples of where some companies have gone wrong (such as the infamous "Something happened" error) and give my tips on how to get error messages right. Apart from the usual (be concise, be accurate, don't be ambiguous) I will share research about the perfect sentence length and how it impacts user comprehension, talk about the importance of the tone and voice of your messaging, touch upon colour and design (sharing research behind colour psychology into why red is often chosen for warning messages) and discuss why it is also important to think about accessibility.


Summary of Jen Lambourne's talk

Three years after dabbling with docs as code, the Government Digital Service uses the approach for all its docs. We’ve debated static site generators, wrangled legacy content, switched hosting options, grappled git workflows, introduced and swiftly backtracked on features, and tested repeatedly with our users. It’s not perfect, but we’ve learnt an awful lot along the way.

This talk is the story of how docs as code has fundamentally changed the role of documentation creators in government, how we side-stepped pitfalls and fell head first into others and - if we had the chance - whether we’d do it all again.



Benjamin and Sharif will host us at Google's HQ, in the awesome Lala Library again.


We need to close registration 48 hours before the event for security reasons. Make sure you sign up!