Let's tech communicate

October 2023

In each edition of Let's tech communicate, we list articles, tools and links that we hope will help you with your everyday mahi as a technical communicator.

Building and sustaining a culture of plain language

With the Plain Language Act 2022 changing the role of plain language in New Zealand, more organisations are asking, "but how?" As tech communicators, you may also be wondering how you can help your workplace move towards a culture of plain language. Canada's Centre for Plain Language offers some advice.

Building and sustaining a culture of plain language

Comparing three plain language standards

In this blog post, Write Limited compares the Plain Language Act 2022, the international standard, and their own plain language standard. They point out how all three do different things, but how they complement each other and form a good set of tools in our plain language toolbox.

Comparing three plain language standards from across the globe

A list of simple words and phrases

Here's a list of words and phrases and the suggested simple alternatives from the American plain language government website. Tip: keep an eye out for any American English spelling that we'd replace with New Zealand English spelling.

Use simple words and phrases

Will you redefine your professional identity?

If AI reshapes the technical writing (and related) field, we’ll likely need to adapt our skills, how we do our work, and our professional identities – or be left behind. Tom Johnson from I’d Rather Be Writing talks us though what that really means, and the challenges that may come with shifting our professional identity away from having ‘writer’ at the core.

Embracing professional redefinition

WCAG 2.2 is here!

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.2 is live!

Check out these great articles from Intopia to learn about what's new, what you need to do, and where you can find out more. They've also published a free WCAG 2.2 map, giving a really helpful visual summary of the new standard.

WCAG 2.2 is here!

Intopia launches WCAG 2.2 map

Intopia ran a free webinar on 18 October 2023 where attendees could ask them questions about WCAG 2.2. Keep an eye on their YouTube channel, as they’ve said they’ll release a recording for anyone unable to attend live. In the meantime, there’s plenty of great content about WCAG 2.2 on their channel already.

Intopia’s YouTube channel

Accessibility blog on our radar

We've spotted the Accessible Digital Documents blog recently, and we think it has some useful articles for people wanting to improve their document accessibility. Here are a few to try:

The case against banning italics

How not to check a PDF for accessibility

Alt text and tooltips in PDFs

Why people use dark mode

The Nielsen Norman Group look into the commonly cited reasons why people use dark mode. They reveal that people think about it at a system level, not an application level. They encourage us to make sure we properly test dark mode first if we choose to make it available, to avoid some of the most common mistakes with it.

Dark mode: how users think about it and issues to avoid

Is dark mode better for your eyes?

While using dark mode has some benefits, it may be causing your eyes to react in a way that makes it harder to see, according to this article from All About Vision. Remember to give your users the choice.

Is dark mode better or worse for your eyes?

Dark mode accessibility issues

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility tells us that while dark mode can have substantial benefits for certain people, it's not automatically accessible. Here they explain some common accessibility issues dark mode can cause.

Dark mode can increase text readability – but not for everyone