The ISTC asked its Business Affiliates what they thought were the top emerging trends within the technical communication industry at the moment, and why they thought they have come about. We also asked if they thought information development professionals are having to change the way they work (or train) due to the emerging trends. Below are highlights from the response from Ellis Pratt, Director at Cherryleaf:
1. The growth of APIs has seen a corresponding growth in the need for API documentation and interactive document environments. Without the documentation, it’s virtually impossible to use an API, as developers need to know what resources are available, where they are, and what parameters they will accept.
2. Linked with this is a move towards treating documentation as code, and using developer tools such as GitHub, Markdown and Jira to create and manage documentation. This is part a reaction to more projects following the Agile methodology, with fast and frequent releases and a team-based approach to projects.
3. As technology becomes more part of our daily lives, we’ve seem a move towards a less formal tone in some types of documentation. This is a consequence of documentation being part of the pre-sales process, and there being less anxious users.
4. We’re also seeing a move toward embedding user assistance into the application itself, without the need to go to the docs. We’ll be seeing more developments with Conversational User Interfaces, on-boarding screens and micro-content. This is a consequence of users being reluctance to admit they’re stuck and going to the Help.