User-focused experiences

Every professional writer helps readers make decisions, form opinions, take actions, or all of the above.

As a technical writer, I help my readers take action. Whether I’m writing procedures, Frequently Asked Questions, or video scripts, I ask questions like:

  • What action are my users trying to take?
  • What do they really need to know?
  • What information do they not care about?
  • In what order do they need information?
  • At what speed are they trying to accomplish their task?
  • What frustrates them about their task or this process?
The answers to these questions are user research or, as it’s more commonly known among the larger professional writing community, audience analysis.

To see some of my user-centered approaches in action, check out some of my recent projects for demonstrations of my writing, technical, and soft skills.

The technical writing field is in the midst of a shift in mindset, style and culture: from interface-focused documentation to user-focused documentation. Rather than including any information about the product “just in case” someone may need it someday, I ask “Do users really need or want this information?” so that I can give my users the exact help they need to get their jobs done.

Just as technical writing is evolving today, my role will continue to evolve as time goes on. The “best” practices for technical writing are different now from what they were ten years ago, and in ten years, they’ll change again. Continuing to check in with my users and keeping myself up-to-date on their needs, values and workflows will keep me grounded, even as those needs change—especially as they change.