Of all the boring subjects in the world, page archiving has got to be the most boring one of all. But for organizations whose content starts getting out of control, it's a critical problem to solve. Here's how my team tackled it in a low-cost way.
Arbortext Editor is a software program that lets you do "structured writing"---a special kind of writing in which every piece of content you compose follows one or more predefined rules. In theory this helps writers to develop consistent, high-quality content. The problem is that the tool has a lot of serious shortcomings. Here's my wishlist of things to improve.
Last November I published an article in Intercom, a magazine produced by the Society for Technical Communication. It was paywalled at the time, but the exclusive rights period has since expired so I have copied it here. Synopsis: A regular part of the technical writer's job is to design document templates that help others jumpstart the writing process. How do our template design strategies change as more documentation moves from the print medium to web browsers and mobile devices?
They are very different. But how different, exactly?
Most people who have an inkling of what technical writing is tend to view it in terms of strict practicality or outright boredom. But what if I told you it was far more creative than we think, and a key ingredient in solving some of society's toughest problems?