Let's tech communicate

June 2021

Blue wires like fibre optic cables that transport data

This month: When Tech Comm meets Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) – what’s the latest? Digital content peeps, we’ve got an article you’ll find useful (although handy for all writing) with thought-provoking examples and tips on how to write more respectful UX content. And getting feedback from a live audience has never been easier with Slido! Peter Nock reviews this handy tool.

Virtual Reality and Technical Communication

The future of technical communication could lie in Augmented Reality (AR). AR serves as a context-sensitive help, because context help is a type of user documentation smart enough to deliver the right content at the right moment. We're already seeing AR-Tech comms at work in medical training, aviation and science. Your field could be next!

Read the article: Virtual Reality and Technical Communication

How to write inclusive, accessible digital products

Make your writing more accessible and inclusive with these simple changes. Although aimed at UX writing, these tips are useful for thinking respectfully about the people and situations you are writing for in other situations. The examples in this article show what a difference this can make for the user.

Read the article: How to write inclusive, accessible digital products

Tech at work: Use Slido to question, quiz, and poll your audience in real time

Getting feedback from a live audience has never been easy. But have you used Slido? Peter Nock discovered this useful tool while listening to a presentation at the Canterbury Tech Summit. He reports back on the ways that the presenter used Slido and how you could use it, too.

Peter's report on Slido

In my role as a Manager in the Department of Enterprise and Digital Innovation at Ara I get to see and experience some cool tech and tools and I wanted to share some of these with you.

I recently attended the Canterbury Tech Summit, which is a great way to catch up on the tech sector in Canterbury and the world. One of the talks was given by James Pearson - Resident Anthropologist at Media Suite. While the talk was interesting, I really liked one of the tools he used to collect real-time feedback from the audience.

James used an online tool called Slido that allows you to set up questions and polls, etc. The audience can log in with a code (that you give them) and provide live answers to questions. For example, James asked for a one-word response from each person on how they would describe Australia to someone that has never been there, and the results displayed as a word cloud in real time.

A screenshot of Slido showing a word cloud with words describing Australia to someone who hasn't been there

Figure 1: Screenshot of Slido showing a word cloud

You can also set it up to ask questions. I tried this with a group of 10-year-old school students that were attending a taster course at Ara. The course involved creating a virtual tour of one of our buildings, and I wanted to see what they knew first. I got them to go to the Sli.do.com website and gave them a code (e.g. #E665) that they entered, and then I displayed the first question, “what is virtual reality?” After a few seconds, each student's response started to appear on the screen.

It was a great way to see what they were thinking and start a discussion. You can also set it up to accept live questions from the audience.

A screenshot of Slido showing students' answers

Figure 2: Screenshot of Slido showing students' answers

I was using a free account to do this, which limits you to only three questions. You can go pro of course, though the price point might put some people off. However, for collecting live data from an audience or group, it is a very effective tool. The audiences in both cases fully engaged with it and enjoyed seeing their responses appear immediately on screen (yes, you can moderate responses, too). If you wanted to collect feedback from remote teams during a video conference or webinar, this would also work well.

A quick Google search revealed some alternative polling apps, but none that are as slick and easy to set up as Slido.

Check out Slido