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Make Technical Writing Work for Mobile Devices

23rd December 2010 Posted in Blog, Documentation, Technical Writers 1 Comment
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With more mobile devices than ever before, your technical writing team may not be able to avoid them anymore. From iPads to iPhones, notebooks to netbooks, the mobile device is ready to take over the technology market.

What does this mean for you? It means that you’re going to see documentation accessed from more platforms than ever before. Is it time to start hiring technical writers who can also create apps and compatible programs?

The Case for More Training

Since many more employees are using mobile devices to access their workstations, the technical writing team will need to have more training in how to create manuals and training supplies which will be readable across these platforms.

Though many manuals will be easy to send to a mobile device, other more complicated diagrams and programs may not translate in their original format. To start, the technical writing team will need to check to see how their work displays on new platforms, but then they will need to adjust any results that are not satisfactory. On-the-spot training and learning might be possible in many instances, but for more extensive technical writing pieces, it may be necessary to encourage your writers to take additional training courses.

Converting Technical Writing Deliverables for New Platforms

How do technical writing deliverables get converted to new platforms? Much of the time, the manuals and writing pieces can be transferred via cloud storage. The files just need to be uploaded to the cloud and then employees can access them from their mobile devices. Many mobile devices come with cloud programs or accessibility, which helps the technical writing team. For larger companies with larger files, a larger memory storage count will be necessary to include as a part of company mobile devices.

Another viable option is to use help authoring software that creates mobile-compatible output, such as MadCap Flare. Being able to single-source documentation into multiple outputs can be a real time saver. It’s highly likely that any help authoring tools that don’t already support output for mobile devices will soon adapt.

Technical writing is more accessible with the use of mobile devices, but these new pieces of technology also bring up the question as to whether all writing can be moved across different platforms. Chances are good that it can, but if not, it’s time to send the technical writing team to find out how it can do so successfully.

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  1. By Tweets that mention Technical Writing for Mobile Devices -- Topsy.comon 23rd, December 2010 at 10:04 am

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