The only way to communicate
is to understand what it is like
not to understand.
Prep for today (assigned readings):
- Cooper, Alan. “Chapter 1: Riddles for an Information Age” The Inmates are Running the Asylum.
- The Curse of Knowledge (Heath and Heath, Harvard Business Review)
- The Curse of Knowledge (I’d Rather Be Writing …)
- Based on your understanding of the readings, how would you explain or define the Curse of Knowledge? How does it apply to technical writing?
- What problem(s) does Cooper describe in this reading? What does he mean by the phrase “the inmates are running the asylum”? Can you relate to any of the examples in this chapter on a personal level? How so (or, if not, why not)? What connections do you see between this reading and the “Curse of Knowledge” readings?
- Warm-up writing | discussion: “curse of knowledge” and tech writing
- Handout (cookies)
– time for individual markup
– concepts: SME’s, tacit knowledge, domain knowledge
– sort into groups by experience
- In groups: complete task, assign a note-taker to record your analysis and ideas for revision. Be prepared to report to the class about your analysis.
– context of use
– historical context (the PC; more recently, mobile)
– user analysis and task orientation
- Writing instructions – task orientation – trying it out
- Discuss examples (Lester, IA ; ATK ), gender and technology
- User experience, usability
- Personas, User stories
- Beyond writing: video on user experience design (UX): “It’s a Great Time …” https://www.uie.com/jared-live/ (37:00-39:00; 39:00-43:35)
- Van Laan chapter (your instructor has this as a PDF)
- I’d Rather Be Writing (including this section for beginners)
- LinkedIn: create a profile and join one of the technical writing forums
- CDC: http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/ia-summit-10-day-3
- Design Observer
- History of recipe cards (Slate)
Journals on technical communication:
- Technical Communication Quarterly (note the lead article: cookbooks!)
- Journal of Business and Technical Communication
- Communication Design Quarterly
– tool, supplies
– step by step instructions
— imperative mood (command)
— present tense
— action / result