Documentation beyond words


In this presentation I will explore other ways to communicate concepts beyond words to show that documentation needn't just be about technical writing.

In the first part of the presentation I will briefly cover theories and principles behind forms of communication and what documentarians can learn from them. Topics such as:

  • Portraying meaning in images: Iconography, maps, manuals

  • Non-verbal conversation: Body language, ways of speaking

  • Fidelity: Sketch notes, simplicity, style

During each of these topics I will present in the style of the topic, so expect something a little different.

In the second practical part of the presentation I will take elements of the theory and applying them practically. I will start by looking at screenshots and diagrams. When and how to use them, what they should show, and how to manage them.

Then I'll cover taking screenshots to the next level with animated gifs and screen recordings that show clear user flows and expected results.

Finally in this part of the presentation I will cover interactive documentation, and the options for allowing readers to directly manipulate and experiment with documentation and directly see inputs and outputs.

In summary, our work typically appears on one of the most dynamic platforms (the web) that has ever existed, let's all do more with it!

  • Conference: Write the Docs EU
  • Year: 2017

About the speaker

Chris Ward