Let's Tech Communicate

December 2018

Grant Mackenzie

This month we check out AR and VR, Google admits chatbots were a bad idea, we list links for royalty-free and free photos, pictures and graphics, we take a primer in video creation and finally answer the big question “what is life as a technical writer like in 2018?”.

This is my final Let’s Tech Communicate. Thanks to those of you who sent me links to interesting content (you know who you are). But mostly, a big thank you to those who read and enjoyed this column.

The future of help: chatbots and user assistance

Ralf Heindoerfer is a senior development architect at SAP. In User assistance 4.0 – How personalization, VR and AR change the way we communicate with our users he outlines where AR and VR fit in the evolution of user assistance. He makes the case for immersive user assistance. Watch this really short video on Ask Mercedes to be convinced that this is the future of user help.

Fast Company sounds like Tinder on steroids. In reality it is a pretty interesting site with great articles like Jared Newman’s Google admits chatbots were a bad idea. Oh and this site didn’t display for me in Internet Explorer. So Chrome it was. Watch Say hello to GoogleAllo to get the picture. I even downloaded the app after reading and watching.

A visual is worth 1000 words

Want eleven links for royalty free and free photos, pictures and graphics? These are available from filmmachen.de. Oh, and unless you are fluent in German, this is another site best viewed in Chrome. Then you can use Google Translate.

Anton Bollen is a customer and marketing strategist working for TechSmith Corp since 2004. He has written a clear and straightforward primer Do you know how videos are made? If you’ve never made a user assistance video, this article is for you.

The good, the bad and the ugly: Life as a 2018 tech writer

David Ryan is based in San Francisco and writes the Corilla Blog (Create. Manage. Publish.) He surveyed his technical communicator readers and asked What is the life of a technical writer like in 2018? The survey results are here. David analyses the results and gives his insights here. Most disappointing was that the vast majority of his users identified Microsoft Word as their core tool. Most pleasing was that YouTube is the staging ground for community advocates. His prime example is that the official DJI videos for their DJI Mavic Air drone have generated barely 120,000 views whereas the community-generated video tutorial has over 600,000 views. Most surprising was that Adobe’s financial reports classify its publishing tools as legacy. All is revealed on page 7.

So long and thanks for all the fish

Grant Mackenzie

Thank you, Grant, for all your hard work on Let's Tech Communicate over the years!