People glance at their smartphones an average of 100 times a day. You can see this behavior both on your way home on the subway and to an increasing extent in the workplace. When performing a task in the real world, our attention alternates constantly between observing information that is necessary for performance – on tablets, smartphones and computer screens alike – and focusing on the actual task at hand. Why is it still like that? Why hasn’t the way we consume information changed in more than 15 years?
How time flies! We spent months preparing for the tekom annual conference − the industry event for technical communication − and then the trade fair went by in a flash for us, the more than 4,000 visitors and approximately 170 exhibitors. The sheer speed made the three days of the fair from November 8−10 just that much more intensive. They were chock-full of important conversations, interesting talks, exciting industry news and a few amusing team moments.
I have a dream: that technical documentation will become the most important department at a company.
When I presented this dream during my opening speech at our 2016 DOCUFY User Meeting, the audience was exhilarated. But we all know what the reality of today’s documentation work looks like. The technical documentation department rarely has a lobby on the management board and is viewed by many as a mere cost factor that needs to be kept at a minimum. I remember making a visit to a large producer of household appliances. The technical writer there had managed to invite her boss to a meeting about their content management system. He opened the meeting with the words: “I personally think that technical documentation is superfluous. We only have a documentation department because we are required to by law.”