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The future *is* technical communication

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A look at the fast-moving world of technology, the ways people interact with technology, and in particular how technology affects the way we communicate. I’m proposing that communication via technology is core to our experience of the world. We, as technical communicators, are in a very good position to grab the opportunities offered by this technology-rich world.

Published in: Technology

The future *is* technical communication

  1. 1. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox The future *is* technical communication
  2. 2. Fast moving Cognitive overhead Bamboozled by tech Weird and wonderful Fluid and asynchronous Immersive Done by things - IoT Way out there A mission statement What we can do right now Technology Communication What it means #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  3. 3. Blink and you’ve missed the birth of a new technology #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  4. 4. How do I… angst #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox How do I make a phone call these days? It used to be so simple. Wait, I have to tweet if I want to tell my local representative what I think? How do I “tweet”? It’s time to go? How can I get my watch to tell me that? How does everyone else know what’s going on, all the time?
  5. 5. Technology moves in leaps and bounds Parkour by Derek Hyamson http://goo.gl/KZqkhQ #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  6. 6. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Cognitive overhead [The number of] logical connections or jumps your brain has to make in order to understand or contextualize the thing you’re looking at. – David Demaree http://goo.gl/dVtDQ
  7. 7. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Cognitive overhead
  8. 8. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Cognitive overhead
  9. 9. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Cognitive overhead Product design + Product managers and engineers grok their product They see it develop, step by step Their customers don’t have that advantage
  10. 10. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Grok To understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes part of the observed. Robert A. Heinlein 1961
  11. 11. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Bamboozled by tech
  12. 12. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Bamboozled by tech “Install this software to waterproof your phone”
  13. 13. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Bamboozled by tech “Charge your phone in a microwave oven”
  14. 14. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Bamboozled by tech “Hello, Sarah: our systems have detected a virus on your computer.”
  15. 15. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Bamboozled by tech “Hello, Sarah: our systems have detected a virus on your computer.” ● sends all your personal details to a network of hackers ● self-destructs, overheats, sets fire to your home ● give us money, email address, access to your computer
  16. 16. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox The weird and wonderful
  17. 17. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox The weird and wonderful Communication via technology is core to our experience of the world
  18. 18. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox The weird and wonderful Trees with email addresses
  19. 19. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox “My dearest Ulmus, As I was leaving St. Mary’s College today, I was struck, not by a branch, but by your radiant beauty. You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree.” http://goo.gl/dnPWxn The weird and wonderful Trees with email addresses
  20. 20. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox The weird and wonderful Trees with email addresses “Dear Green Leaf Elm, I hope you like living at St. Mary's. Most of the time I like it too. I have exams coming up and I should be busy studying… … we don’t have a lot in common, you being a tree and such. But I’m glad we’re in this together. Cheers, F. ” http://goo.gl/dnPWxn
  21. 21. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Social media – unimaginable impact An 8-year old’s dream; now a global movement Make a Stand Vivienne Harr, 8 years old Goal: Donate $100,000 in one year to free 500 child slaves Day 52: Tweet goes viral Day 173: Vivienne sells lemonade in Times Square Reaches her goal in half the time
  22. 22. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Social media – unimaginable impact ; Project Semicolon Semicolon tattoos raise awareness of depression Sprang from a social media movement, 2013+ Not the end of a sentence Not the end of a life
  23. 23. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Social media – unimaginable impact Twitter for tracking earthquakes USGS has 2,000 realtime earthquake sensors Twitter has 316,000,000 monthly active users People as earthquake sensors Napa earthquake 2014: alert detected in 29 seconds React quickly. Keep people safe.
  24. 24. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Social media – unimaginable impact Twitter for tracking earthquakes What people tweet in an earthquake: ● Often one word: “earthquake?” ● Fewer than 8 words ● No links or stats Filter irrelevant tweets Twitter’s public API OS software like Kibana & ElasticSearch React quickly. Keep people safe.
  25. 25. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Fluid and asynchronous communication
  26. 26. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Multi-platform, multi-thread Distraction is the norm Web Video Music Mobile Friends Games Studying Laptop Work News
  27. 27. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Multi-sensory People customise their learning medium even as they learn Touch Speak Watch Move around Listen
  28. 28. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Lossy People go with the flow, else they’d go crazy Happy to miss incoming info Confident they’ve seen the most important stuff OR Afraid of missing out (FOMO) Worried about wasting time
  29. 29. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox What does this mean for us? Getting their attention is a challenge. Keeping their attention is a challenge. Merge multimedia into our guides. Borrow from social media. Add elements of gaming.
  30. 30. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox 1. Pull tight 2. Cross left over right and under 3. Pull tight 4. Create a loop 5. Cross right over left and under 6. Pull tight #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox How to discombobulate a foo
  31. 31. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox 1. Pull tight 2. Cross left over right and under 3. Pull tight 4. Create a loop 5. Cross right over left and under 6. Pull tight #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox How to discombobulate a foo Your colleague Rahul recently posted a guide: learn/foo123
  32. 32. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox 1. Pull tight 2. Cross left over right and under 3. Pull tight 4. Create a loop 5. Cross right over left and under 6. Pull tight #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox How to discombobulate a foo Your colleague Maha does this frequently. Want to sit in next time? Register now: learn/foo321
  33. 33. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox 1. Pull tight 2. Cross left over right and under 3. Pull tight 4. Create a loop 5. Cross right over left and under 6. Pull tight #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox How to discombobulate a foo Join the search for the 2016 foo discom expert: learn/foo000
  34. 34. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Immersive technology
  35. 35. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Virtual reality (VR) and 360D content Use your body to move around a virtual world Wear a headset for audio and visual Or use a VR-enabled app on your phone A 360D football match: youtu. be/bBZhuqPRx9c
  36. 36. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Virtual reality (VR) and 360D – the technology VR viewers: Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and more YouTube app or Chrome browser
  37. 37. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Virtual reality (VR) and 360D – the technology To create the videos: – 360D camera rig e.g. Jump by Google and GoPro, or Ricoh’s Theta camera – Software to combine images into a VR world
  38. 38. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Google Spotlight Stories App for Android and iOS – 3D and 2D animations and 360D video Move around inside the movie Choose what you see by following the action “Windy Day” “Buggy Night” “Duet” “Help” directed by Justin Lin
  39. 39. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Google Expeditions A teaching tool for schools Go places a schoolbus can’t Phone, Cardboard, Tablet
  40. 40. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Augmented Reality (AR) Superimpose virtual objects on the real world Fujitsu AR system for auto mechanics Smart eye glasses by Google, Sony, and others Microsoft Hololens
  41. 41. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Project Tango Camera, motion-tracking camera, depth sensor, software Maps its environment Understands its own movement in 3D Offers an SDK Experiments: AR and VR combined + Nerf guns
  42. 42. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox What does this mean for us? Tour a virtual replica of a factory floor Walk all round a fast- moving industrial robot Explore the design of a motor engine Follow your own path through the learning material Opportunity for an intrepid technical communicator
  43. 43. Internet of Things #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  44. 44. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Internet of Things (IoT) 4.9 billion in 2015 25 billion by 2020 Exponential growth – Gartner Amazon AWS IoT Google Cloud, Brillo, Weave Microsoft Azure IoT Suite IoTivity quipp ALLTHINGS | PLATFORM
  45. 45. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Internet of Things (IoT) Senses changes in self and surrounds Communicate with other things Send data to cloud Analyse vast amounts of data for actionability and APIs Smart things everywhere share data and negotiate Smart things create smart environments
  46. 46. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox What does this mean for us? ? Smart things everywhere share data and negotiate Smart things create smart environments
  47. 47. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  48. 48. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  49. 49. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  50. 50. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  51. 51. Way out there Way out there #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  52. 52. katiavega.com #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Stroke your hair to send a message Hairware by Katia Vega Stroke your hair to activate an app Conductive filaments in hair extensions Arduino microcontroller and Bluetooth radio, in hairclip Send a message or your location
  53. 53. katiavega.com #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox FX e-makeup Kinisi by Katia Vega Electronic sensors in makeup to sense movement Microcontrollers in hair to activate lights Change things around you by winking, smiling... Could your skin act as an interface?
  54. 54. katiavega.com #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox FX e-makeup Kinisi by Katia Vega Electronic sensors in makeup to sense movement Microcontrollers in hair to activate lights Change things around you by winking, smiling... Could your skin act as an interface? youtu.be/7JrRo1U7c5o
  55. 55. katiavega.com #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox What does this mean for us? Smile to activate a video tutorial. Raise an eyebrow to request an alternative solution. Click here Blink twice for more information. Let your imagination run wild!
  56. 56. katiavega.com #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Prototyping lessons in a virtual world 3D online game by Katia Vega TREG (Training in Requirements Engineering Game) Teaches techniques for requirements engineering Uses simulations based on collaboration Staged in Second Life
  57. 57. katiavega.com #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox What does this mean for us? Try out our tutorials on real people in a virtual world Make use of the collaboration features in that world Harness the user interface and profiles Benefit from the spirit of interaction and experiment
  58. 58. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox Towards a mission statement
  59. 59. The great myth of our times is that technology is communication. – Libby Larsen, composer Jazz at the Intergalactic Nightclub http://goo.gl/0bMM82 #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  60. 60. Thanks to technology, we can instantly communicate across the world, but it still doesn’t help us know what to say. – Jonathan Sacks UK Rabbi http://goo.gl/advsZk #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  61. 61. Communication is part of the problem. It’s also the solution: Technical communication. – Sarah Technical writer Here and now #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  62. 62. Communication is part of the problem. It’s also the solution: Technical communication. – Sarah Technical writer Here and now #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox We help people keep up with technology. More, we help people create new technology and bend it to their will.
  63. 63. Communication is part of the problem. It’s also the solution: Technical communication. – Sarah Technical writer Here and now #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox People learn by attaching a new idea to their existing context. The ability to help them do that is our killer skill.
  64. 64. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox A technical writer’s mission statement Make complex goals achievable within our audience’s context.
  65. 65. A technical writer’s mission statement Deliver what the audience needs for the intended purpose, in the language that they understand, anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Vinish Garg @vingar #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  66. 66. What we can do right now #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  67. 67. Support innovation in our field Parkour by Derek Hyamson http://goo.gl/KZqkhQ #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  68. 68. Blink as infrequently as possible #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  69. 69. Be bold, inquisitive and communicative #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  70. 70. The future *is* technical communication. Technical communication *is* the future. #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox
  71. 71. Twitter @sarahmaddox Google+ +sarahmaddox Slideshare sarahmaddox Blog ffeathers.wordpress.com Where to find me #techcommfuture @sarahmaddox

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