Beyond Software - Learning from Other Technical Writers


Outside of my technical writing work for software projects I have been creating a board game. A board game also requires mechanics to function and players to clearly understand how these mechanics work to use and appreciate fully.

As part of my research for writing game manuals I looked at manuals for furniture, electronics, and cars to see how they explain to users how to setup and use their products.

In this presentation I will look at how the technical writing skills of different industries can learn from each other.

This will include:

  • Game Manuals and tutorials
  • Assembly instructions (e.g. those wonderful Ikea inserts)
  • Service Manuals for electronics

And as part of looking at these case studies, the presentation will cover:

  • Iconography vs Text
  • The limitations of updating print manuals
  • Reducing language and cultural colloquialisms
  • Identifying what needs to be said and what doesn't

And by the end of the presentation I hope that everyone will have learnt a lot from each other and realize that we're all trying to achieve the same thing(s).

  • Conference: Write the Docs EU
  • Year: 2016

About the speaker

Chris Ward