We'll have two speakers at our April Meetup!
Amelia Abreu will be rehearsing her upcoming WTD talk:
Caring Systems: Documentation as care
All humans require care. Writing and maintaining documentation is a form of care: good documentation can make us feel cared-for, and we, as writers, can take satisfaction from empathizing with the end users of our work, and performing the caring work of documentation. By exploring and acknowledging the relationship between care, documentation, and technology, I argue, we can better understand and advocate for the value of our work. More so, understanding the importance of care allows us to work better.
This talk illustrates how the work of documentation is care work, and explores the ethical, philosophical and economic dimensions of care in relationship to technical writing and documentation. I’ll share findings and case studies from my own consulting practice, and explore patterns (and anti-patterns) I’ve observed around documentation and care. Then, to spur small group discussions, I’ll share design principles for documentation as care.
Mike Jang will be rehearsing his upcoming OSCON talk:
UI Text: Simplicity is Difficult
Web applications frequently have two audiences: end users (consumers) and administrators. End users don’t want to bother with documentation, especially for “simple” tasks such as creating a new account. And while administrators may be more understanding, they also don’t want to deal with documentation for everyday tasks. (They don’t want to refer to documentation just to configure a new property, for example.) And they certainly don’t want to decipher a “self-documenting” developer Java class. Meanwhile, many UI developers don’t have the skills needed to create awesome UI text.
Mike Jang explains that to keep your users happy, you need excellent UI text, also known as microcopy. Microcopy can save time—and make the difference in selling an application. Mike shares the lessons he’s learned creating microcopy for a new administrative and end-user web interface and discusses the stakeholders that he had to navigate in order to implement a microcopy style guide for a suite of web applications.