Archive | Technical Writing

Using DITA Creatively to Develop Training Material

When we developed our Effective Writing Skills training course, we created the course materials using the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), to test its usefulness for small content production projects. DITA is an open XML standard for creating, organising, and publishing topic-based information. The content team who developed the course material acted as ‘customers’. They […]

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Creating Effective Work Instructions: Kyle Shropshire’s “The Error Free Workplace”

Kyle Shropshire’s The Error Free Workplace explores the significance of well-written instructions and highlights how well-written instructions can contribute to an error free workplace. If you want to reduce workplace errors, this book explains how technical writing can help you achieve your objective. Errors and Consequences To commence, the book outlines why some work instructions […]

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Information 4.0 – Making Content Intelligent

As the industrial revolution enters its fourth stage, technical communication is evolving in parallel. The challenge for technical communicators is to develop new methods of creating, managing, and storing content that are compatible with the latest delivery channels – to close the gap between the more traditional technical communication methods and the requirements that Industry […]

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“Information Design: Research and Practice” – a Bible for Information Designers?

Information Design: Research and Practice, edited by Alison Black, Paul Luna, Ole Lund, and Sue Walker, is a compendium of theories and practical examples of information from leading researchers and practitioners. This is an excellent resource, comprehensively addressing multiple aspects of information design. Erik Speikerman, one of the contributors to the book, describes the volume […]

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Human Error Reduction in the Biopharmaceutical Industry: How Outsourcing Can Help

Improving your Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) documentation is often a central aspect of a human error reduction project. Unclear or poorly written standard operating procedures (SOPs), work instructions, and batch manufacturing records contribute to increased human error and inefficient training. In this post, we outline how a managed service solution for documentation can support human […]

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The Continued Relevance of Dekker’s “Field Guide to Understanding Human Error”: From Blame Culture to Safety Culture

When investigating a workplace accident, you might be inclined to believe that the employees involved should automatically be held responsible for the unfortunate incident. If so, you are taking what author Sidney Dekker describes as “the old view” of human error. Taking this old view, as the book reveals, will do little to prevent further […]

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Current Practices and Trends in Technical and Professional Communication: Review of ISTC’s On-Target Collection

Writing style and voice, prominent software and tools, career and workplace issues – just some of the topics addressed by Current Practices and Trends in Technical and Professional Communication. Edited by Stephen Crabbe, and published by the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC), the book brings together academics and professionals from the field of […]

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