The world of technical communication is changing fast. Customer experience continues to dramatically change the role and the value of documentation professionals and technical content. An increasing number of technical communication developers are becoming members of broad, cross-functional teams responsible for comprehensive user experiences. Technical content teams are no longer isolated as they work closely with marketers and others to produce consistent and coherent experiences across a customer journey.
EXCELLENT USER EXPERIENCE (UX)
For years, many technical communicators promoted their roles as user advocates and probably helped set the stage for this brave new world of User Experience (UX). More organizations recognize that UX requires multiple skill sets, but more importantly they see excellent UX as a critical business objective.
The technical communication profession focuses on core skills, mainly writing. But like so many other professions, it now requires specialized knowledge in other areas, too. Today, there is a continuing increase in UX designer or specialist roles, which require a convergent set of skills from design, application development, and communication. Convergent tool solutions address the challenges of integrating documentation, training, product support, marketing, sales, and customer service.
This shift requires technical communication professionals to think about producing content in different formats (interactive content) and styles (bite size) pieces that can be consumed as the consumer desires, and, in some cases, a more conversational tone.
SPECIALIZATION SKILL SETS
User experience, continuous mobility, content creation and production as a brand asset, and globalization all require skill sets that will result in a shift towards being business problem solvers, and collaborating effectively with professionals from a whole range of disciplines.
As technical communicators get comfortable with the tools and techniques of producing effective user assistance on mobile, the focus will be on comprehensive approaches to designing for mobile, developing mobile products and supporting mobile users. As one of the big technical communication trends, managing the mobile paradigm means developing approaches that require collaboration between traditional R&D, tech pubs, marketing, and customer support organizations as well as the creation of new forms of marketing and product support via social media.
Top 10 UX specialization skills for technical communication professionals: