Posted by: communicationcloud | June 12, 2010

My thoughts about tech comms at Red Gate

Until last year, I was Head of Technical Communications at Red Gate Software*, a company that produces tools with a very strong emphasis on ensuring the user can get up to speed quickly and painlessly. This emphasis has meant that the Technical Communications team have been able to do some very innovative work, and really think creatively about what users need, and how best to organise the team and processes to deliver it.

Earlier this year, Ellis Pratt interviewed me about the approach that Red Gate takes to technical communications, as part of the material for the Cherryleaf Learning Zone. This includes a bit more information about what principles, tools and processes enable the design approach I described in this earlier article to be successful. I’m afraid its lengthy, though – so lengthy that Ellis split it into 4 parts to upload to YouTube. Sorry. It’s a subject I’m passionate about, so I do go on a bit…

Part 1: Background; web analytics; what we produce; how we decide what to produce (more on this later)

Part 2: how we decide what to produce; how we fit that into development processes; how we combine our content with other content to form a “suite” of documentation for users, how we measure success

Part 3: feedback from our users; how authors work in agile development teams; our design approach, how we ensure there’s time for authoring

Part 4: future trends and what’s great about Red Gate technical communications, in my (totally unbiased) opinion

* I still work at Red Gate, by the way, but in a different role – I’m now focusing on Customer Experience as a whole, rather than just the technical communication aspects of this

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the intriguing insights! Given your change in roles: Could you describe that transition a little bit? I’d be especially curious to hear what challenges in the new role took you by surprise and which tech comm skills you found useful in your new job. Many thanks!

    • Hi Kai, Thanks for the interest. There are certainly been various challenges and surprises. This topic is probably a whole post all on its own, so I’ll put my thoughts together and post them here soon.

      Rachel


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