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We look at playbooks. We ask: what are they, and why create them? We also discuss our approach for creating playbooks, and the different ways to publish them. We'll post a transcript to the Cherryleaf Blog. About Cherryleaf: Cherryleaf Links: https://trainual.com/manual/what-is-a-business-playbook-and-how-to-use-it-to-scale https://sterlingwoods.co…
 
We look at different ways to measure and check the quality of the content we produce. References: Developing Quality Technical Information (DQTI), Hargis, IBM, 1997 Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb Ilene Burnstein, Practical Software Testing Teste e Qualidade de Software Software Reviews and Other Static Software Analysis. Rodrigo Back Al…
 
In this episode, we look at the skills needed for developing a developer portal. We also talk about our new e-learning course "Creating API documentation and developer portals", and Google's recommendations for the content needed on a developer portal. We'll post a transcript to the Cherryleaf Blog. About Cherryleaf: Cherryleaf…
 
If a startup came to you asking for a checklist of actions they should take/consider when it comes to writing their first docs, what would you tell them? We asked that question on Social Media. In this episode, we reveal what people said. Get the ultimate user onboarding content checklist for start-ups About Cherryleaf: Cherryleaf…
 
Unexpected bonus August episode. We spoke to Jennifer Morse, Vice President of Customer Success at MadCap Software, about the new Learning and Development features that have been included in latest release of MadCap Flare. More information: New Release: MadCap Flare 2021 r2 Bridging the Gap Between Technical Authoring and Learning & Development Web…
 
Ellis looks at nine common onboarding mistakes that software companies make: Not thinking about jobs to be done, but features Overloading users with information Writing for a single audience Not providing or not co-ordinating the five pillars of onboarding content Getting the timing wrong Unclear goals Leaving "seams" in the onboarding experience P…
 
We talk to Karissa Van Baulen, Customer Education Lead and Knowledge Base Owner at Hotjar. We discuss how she has used heatmaps and playback recordings to improve Hotjar's knowledge base. What does Hotjar do? Why are heatmaps important? How have you used heatmaps and recordings to improve Hotjar's knowledge base? How easy is this to do? How much ti…
 
Ellis talks to Toby Chapman Dawe of Strand UK about why he claims nobody ever wants to buy software. Toby is Managing Director of Strand. Toby specialises in communicating the business benefits of enterprise technology. Formerly a journalist in the UK writing for trade and national press, Toby transferred to the world of advertising in the Netherla…
 
For a while now, we’ve been looking at ways to import API reference content into MadCap Flare, so that we can use Flare to create a developer portal. Here’s the latest update on what we’ve learnt. Videos: Importing OpenAPI/Swagger API reference content into MadCap Flare 2021 to create a developer portal Importing API reference documentation into a …
 
In addition to the basic skills in technical communication, what other skills does a technical communicator need? In this episode, we look at the areas where technical communicators deepen and widen their skill set. We consider what should be the topic for our (Cherryleaf's) next elearning course. Twitter thread: Does anyone have opinions as to wha…
 
In March 2021, Google published the “Google UX Design Certificate Program", as part of its Grow with Google scheme. In this episode, we look at: What is promised How it's delivered What's in the course Career prospects Related information: https://grow.google/uxdesign/https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/google-ux-design Intermediate/…
 
Recently, we asked on Social Media: What do you want from a course on creating screenshots and other graphics? What topics would like a course like this to cover? In this episode we'll cover the responses we got, and why we asked those questions. Related information: Intermediate/Advanced Technical Communication elearning training course Cherryleaf…
 
We talk about an episode from the Smart Passive Income Podcast (Smart Passive Income Podcast 471 How to Become a Better Communicator with Kolarele Sonaike) and discuss why technical communicators' communication skills may not be enough for them to progress up an organisation's hierarchy. More information: Cherryleaf newsletter To contact Cherryleaf…
 
In December 2020, a "Reuse Files" button mysteriously appeared in the browser version of Microsoft Word. There doesn't appear to be any documentation about it on the Microsoft website. What does it do? In this episode, we do some investigating to find out. More information: Cherryleaf newsletter To contact Cherryleaf: info@cherryleaf.com…
 
On social media, we asked "what are the most common problems organisations make with developer portals and API documentation?" In this episode, we look at the responses we received. We also discuss some of the other common mistakes that we've come across. More information: Cherryleaf's API/developer documentation writing services Cherryleaf newslet…
 
We look at some of the common content challenges organisations face with their developer portals, and ways to fix them. We also look at creating a friction log, and the complexity of banking related APIs. More information: Cherryleaf's API/developer documentation writing services Cherryleaf newsletter To contact Cherryleaf: info@cherryleaf.com…
 
Ellis donned his finest brocade waistcoat and riding boots for an episode that was recorded in one of the locations used in the Bridgerton TV series. He discusses the location, and the impact of Brexit on technical writing companies such as Cherryleaf. Image by Maxwell Hamilton, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52540109…
 
We spoke to Deborah Reid, Lead Tester at Bloom & Wild, about usability testing. We discuss: What is testing? Is it only about accessibility? Where is it used? Why should organisations worry about testing/do testing? Does it need a specialist to do it?/ What skills are needed? How did you become a tester/what attracted you to it? How is it done? Bro…
 
We asked the people who receive the Cherryleaf newsletter what was one goal (relating to work, career, or work-life balance) that they were setting for 2021. We received a lot of replies – thank you. In this episode, we go through what you told us. More information: Word clouds from your responses Ankerwycke Cherryleaf website Cherryleaf newsletter…
 
Another walking podcast, this time it's from Bedfont Lakes country park in west London. We gaze into our crystal ball and make predictions for the future of technical communication for 2021 and beyond. We also share the thoughts of others in the profession. Twitter thread: What trends do you think there will be in Technical Communication (including…
 
The DevPortal Awards bring together the API community to recognize, celebrate and learn from the world’s greatest developer portals and their API documentation. Ellis is one of the judges. In this podcast, he talks about the criteria the awards use to assess the different developer portals. DevPortal Awards Cherryleaf website Cherryleaf newsletter …
 
Ellis describes his experience of writing and publishing a book on Kindle. He also discusses creating an audiobook for Audible and the latest options for printing a paperback book. More information https://kdp.amazon.com/ https://www.acx.com/ https://www.postermywall.com/index.php/posters/search?s=ebook# https://www.fiverr.com/ Cherryleaf newslette…
 
Organisations that take a controls-based approach to auditing typically need controls-based procedures. We look at how they differ from other policies and procedures. We also discuss how we're approaching procedures writing projects during the lockdown. More information: Cherryleaf procedures writing services Cherryleaf newsletter To contact Cherry…
 
We look at some newly released applications from Microsoft and Adobe that could help you be a better communicator: Microsoft Fluid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy1Tyr93Sw4 Microsoft Editor https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/microsoft-editor https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-365-blog/introducing-microsoft-editor-bring-ou…
 
Black Lives Matter (BLM), inclusivity and technical communicators: What can/should technical communicators do within and without their jobs? BLM means recognising black people have historically suffered from prejudice and injustices, and that they still do today. We look at: BLM and techcomm outputs Encouraging Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) pe…
 
We caught up with Mike Hamilton, VP of Product Evangelism at MadCap Flare. We talked about: How is Covid-19/lockdown affecting you and MadCap?Managing chatbots, UI text, Help and KB articles from a single sourceWhat's new in Central 2020What's new in Flare 2020?Are the new features a sign of future developments? ---- More information Cherryleaf - f…
 
With the Covid-19 lockdown, corporate classroom training has had to stop. But will it come back? In this episode, we look at: Do we need classroom training? How Google is converting its technical writing for developers classroom course to an online format How we are approaching the conversion of our classroom courses What others advised on LinkedIn…
 
In this episode, we talk to Will Myddelton, Product lead at Local Welcome, about moving from an oral to a written culture within an organisation. "An oral culture has huge advantages in that it’s fluid, easy to pick up, and doesn’t require a lot of attention to processes. But it has a big disadvantage which is that knowledge is stored inside people…
 
The COVID-19 coronavirus is having a huge impact on people and organisations. With so many things that could be about to change, how should technical communicators respond? In this episode we look at: How organisations might change during and after the Covid-19 lockdown What that means for technical communication Comments made by others on LinkedIn…
 
We talk to Sara Feldman, about how the writing in technical writing needs to evolve. We discuss: The driving forces that are impacting our audience’s context in ways we need to account for in how we write Things to do more Things to do less Customer-focused delivery Think with Google: How consumer needs shape search behavior and drive intent Sara F…
 
We talk to Jen Lambourne, Knowledge Management Lead at Monzo Bank, about her current work at Monzo and her previous role at the UK's Government Digital Service. ----- More information Cherryleaf - for technical communication that keeps customers. Cherryleaf newsletter To contact Cherryleaf: info@cherryleaf.com…
 
We look at the importance of communication in leadership. We look at how communication needs to adapt to different contexts. Note: This recording was made before the Coronavirus crisis was fully appreciated. ----- More information Cherryleaf - for technical communication that keeps customers. Cherryleaf newsletter To contact Cherryleaf: info@cherry…
 
Google has developed two technical writing classes for developers, which it has delivered to thousands of its own staff. In late February 2020 it made these accessible to people outside of Google. But are they any good? In this episode, we describe and review these courses. See also: Technical writing for developers training courses -- Cherryleaf -…
 
Rahel talks about Babylon Health and her role as Director of Content there. We discuss content strategy, content design, and the issues Babylon Health faces. We also look at the skills needed to be a good Content Designer, and how to get those skills. Cherryleaf helps you find better ways to create and manage your content Cherryleaf newsletter To c…
 
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