Technical communicators are often told to focus on instructions and minimize descriptions, for example, how the components of an HW system works. Do you include such conceptual information in your manuals? If so, what purpose does it have? Based on research in technical communication, this session makes the case that conceptual information has a purpose. You will learn why, how and when it can support users to accomplish their goals.
Users shape a mental model of the tools they use. The purpose of instructions and conceptual information is to support users to shape a mental model that corresponds to the tool. Thereby, users' chances of accomplishing a goal increases.
Experience as technical communicators, dealing with decisions on what type of information to design in user assistance.
Jonatan is employed as an information architect at Excosoft and has more than 25 years of experience in the technical communication industry. He is a researcher at Mälardalen University in Sweden, studying users' seeking and reading behaviors.