It’s Getting Kind of Haptic: Technical Writing in the Age of Tactile Interfaces

Recently I went to the Secrets of the Empire virtual reality (VR) experience (you can read about that here). It was a game environment mixing VR and physical elements. While there was a brief script introducing this team-based, first-person-shooter game, for the most part the participants operated without instructions. It’s supposed to be intuitive, with no need for written instructions or help to read. Video games and even movies have been moving computer and other interfaces in the direction of a world without documentation…or, seemingly, writing. Does a technical writer fit in such a world? Yes, but it’s not immediately obvious. Continue reading

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What Motivates You?

I’ve been meditating on this topic for a while but I was trying to find a way to write about it in a way that wouldn’t put my readers on the defensive–nobody likes having their motives questioned. Still, I think it’s important to be honest (at least with yourself) about why you do the work that you do. Read on for more. Continue reading

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Reader Response: What Do You Do and How Do You Do It?

A colleague of mine who’s attending the University of Alabama-Huntsville sought to interview me as part of a classroom assignment. I do this from time to time, but that’s not the same as doing someone’s homework for them, in case any of you think that’s what I’m here for. Anyhow, my friend’s questions focused on the types of work I do and what skills I’ve needed/used to accomplish them. Read on!

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Friend, Foe, or Both? Life in the Government Contracting World

One thing that struck me as curious when I started working for a defense contractor was how other companies could be competitors on some proposals and partner (prime or sub) contractors on others. I’ll try to explain why this happens and why it’s a normal part of the business. Continue reading

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The Value of a Challenge

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Apollo 11 from a professional and personal point of view. And yet, after I wrote the already-too-long post from a personal point of view, I felt something was missing: the real reason I find Apollo (and space exploration) so inspiring. Today, I’ll rectify that oversight and explain why it’s relevant to technical communication. Continue reading

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