Auckland Workshop: UX methods for Technical Writers

Everyone wants to create content that helps people to solve a problem and complete a task - but how do you find out whether your documentation is effective?

In this one-day workshop you will learn about User-Centred Design (UCD) methods which can help you to:

  • Understand the impact for users of effective and ineffective documentation
  • Make a business case for investing in UX for documentation
  • Investigate your users - their needs, language, mental model, and what it’s like for them to use your product
  • Assess the usability of your documentation
  • Analyse and present the results of UX research and usability testing.

The workshop will incorporate 3 main components:

UX methods overview

Looking at some UCD techniques, and how they can be applied in a technical writing context, including:

  • Task-based usability testing
  • Heuristic analysis
  • How to carry out effective UX tests using online tools
  • Using Google Analytics to investigate user’s needs and behaviour
  • How to interview users, and how to be an effective UX session observer and moderator
  • Getting creative - integrating co-design and other workshop techniques.

Practical in-depth activities

In this section, we’ll go step by step through the process of planning, carrying out, analysing and documenting the results of UX research and usability testing.

You will work in groups to plan and carry out:

  • User research interviews
  • Usability tests
  • Analysis of interviews and tests
  • Prototyping a presentation of key insights.


How can you make UCD happen for technical writing in the context of your role and organisation:

  • Planning and making a business case for UX research and usability testing
  • Deciding on an approach which is relevant and feasible, from embedding some user-centred practices into your everyday work through to larger scale approaches
  • Working with other areas of your organisation - to collaborate, and to access data
  • Sourcing users to conduct testing and research with, and managing ethical issues such as privacy.

You’ll leave the workshop with practical experience of User-Centred Design methods, plus a selection of resources and templates that you can take away and use in your own projects

This workshop is for

  • Technical communicators who want to learn how to usability test documentation, and look at how they could apply UX methods in their work.
  • Managers who have responsibility for technical content and who are interested in how UX methods could be used to improve user and business outcomes.

You will need to bring with you a laptop that can access wi-fi.


Costs for the workshop are:

  • Members: $290.00 plus GST
  • Student members: $200.00 plus GST
  • Non-members: $430.00 plus GST.

Note: Members = members of TechCommNZ and affiliated organisations: NZATD, ASTC, PRINZ.

Please read our payment terms and conditions.

Session details

Monday 24 July 2017

Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm Tea and coffee will be served on arrival from 8:30am.

Location: Quality Hotel Parnell 20 Gladstone Road Parnell, Auckland 1052 ( see map)

Please review the map or directions to the venue you will be visiting. You might find it useful to print them out for reference on the day of the workshop.

About the presenter

Rebecca Cox is a User Experience Analyst who is passionate about helping organisations to understand the user perspective, in order to make better products and websites so that people and organisations can achieve their goals.

Rebecca has conducted many user research projects involving interviews, usability testing sessions, workshops, analytics and desktop research. She is keen to help and encourage others to incorporate UX research techniques in what they do.

Rebecca’s background prior to specialising in UX was as a web developer. This included a large chunk of technical writing, to document best practices for implementing web standards and accessibility for other developers, designers, and project managers.

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