Given at Write the Docs Europe, 2015. See the write-up here (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HTuKl4gSOcqdqYY72MK_frbTpHb73j_WnZN3HExp184/edit?usp=sharing)
Good documentation is important, but it should be your last resort. You need to help users before they reach the docs - in the user interface itself.
In this talk, I discuss:
- strategies for writing microcopy when you’re short on space
- what to explain in the UI, and what to save for the documentation
- how to pick the right style of embedded help
- what makes a great error message (and a terrible one)
... with plenty of real-world examples of doing it right and wrong.
If you're interested in this, see my blog for more detailed examples: http://uiwriting.tumblr.com/