Today, we will look at the most prominent trends in technical writing for 2020. The end of the year is the best time to try and understand what the future holds to be prepared to embrace the changes.
More Accessible User Manuals
We would like to mention this trend first as this is highly important. Things like compliance with Section 508 are becoming a must not only for companies working with the government but rather it is becoming a new standard, a rule of thumb for any business.
Techcomm is improving its accessibility each year, and this is great. The ClickHelp team is putting a lot of effort into this, as well. We have been working hard on achieving better accessibility and soon will be announcing the results of this. Consider this a minor spoiler for the thing to come 🙂
There’s something so attractive about this idea of being a freelancer and roaming the world freely: writing help topics while lying on the golden sand or while enjoying a hot steaming cup of coffee in your favorite cafe. And, the recent numbers show that in the US, for example, by 2020 40% of the entire workforce is expected to be freelancing (as opposed to 34% in 2016). This is huge.
Needless to say that technical writing is nearly a perfect job for freelancers. With modern tools like ClickHelp if you have an internet connection you are good to go — everything can be done online, nothing is tying you to your office chair.
Online/Cloud Based Technical Documentation
Not every company stores documentation online. Yet. This trend keeps ruling the world of techcomm as more and more companies are migrating to cloud services for help authoring and realizing the benefits of online user manuals and documentation portals.
Of course, using a cloud-based platform for writing documentation is a lot more convenient than trying to set up a workflow depending on software installed on a machine. Plus, don’t forget about the environment — less paper is used for printing docs.
More Technology Involved in Writing
Technical writing has been going side-by-side with technology for a while now since help authoring is perfect for automation — so many things are repeated throughout the process. We now can reuse content, create different versions from a single source, add variables, content snippets (and later change them with a couple of clicks). Well, at least ClickHelp clients can do all that 🙂
The gloomy future with AI replacing human tech writers is yet just a really vague perspective. And, so far, new technology has been bringing nothing but benefits to help authoring.
What an exciting time to be a technical writer really. All the new technology is meant to improve the processes and make your life so much easier. It seems that technical writers will be able to focus more on writing in 2020 while everything else is going to be taken care of for them.
Good luck with your technical writing!
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