If you are a technical communicator and haven’t entered the UKTC Awards yet, you now have until 15th July 2016 to send in your entry…
(you can enter here: https://uktcawards.com/awards/enter/ )
Last year, we received the highest ever number of entries for the UK Technical Communication Awards and the judges also decided to offer ‘merits’ due to the high standard of the applications. We received entries from individuals, companies and collaborators from all around the world and from different types of industry.
Entries are welcomed from ISTC members, non-members, individuals, companies or students alike. Submissions cost £25 for ISTC members and £40 for non-members per entry. The awards include nine categories split between three classes focussing on communication effectiveness, use of technology and innovative business practices. Results will be published in ISTC publications and websites, including Communicator journal, with awards presented during the Gala Dinner at the Technical Communication UK conference, held at Wyboston Lakes Executive Centre near Cambridge on 14th September 2016.
You might also like to read an article, written by two UKTC Awards judges (including ISTC President, Alison Peck), giving an insight to the six emerging trends within the Technical Communication Industry, also drawing on trends from last year’s awards submissions: see the blog post below…
Good luck with your awards submission!
Galyna Key, UKTC Awards Manager
We recently asked two of our UK Technical Communication Awards judges, Alison Peck (Director of Clearly Stated Ltd and current President of the ISTC) and Ellis Pratt (Director of Cherryleaf), for their thoughts on the emerging trends within the Technical Communication Industry, also drawing on insights from recent UKTC Awards entries. They have noticed six key emerging trends – here they are:
- Growth of Application Programme Interface (API) Documentation
The growth of APIs has seen a corresponding growth in the need for API documentation and interactive document environments. Ellis Pratt says “Without the documentation, it’s virtually impossible to use an API, as developers need to know what resources are available, where they are, and what parameters they will accept.”
- Increase in Use of Agile Methodologies
Agile methodologies are a set of principles for software development in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organising, cross-functional teams. Alison Peck says “The biggest impacts on [technical communicators] are in the working practices and products of our customer base. For example, there is a steady increase in the percentage of software development teams adopting agile methodologies, which affects technical communicators specifically working in the documentation of software.”
- Increased Use of Mobile Technology
Alison goes on to say “the increased use of mobile technology has made changes to our work, as has the (general) improvement to user interface design. Rather than having to give detailed instructions, I’m more likely to explain the outcome of an action or give guidance on when it should be done. People using products and services also expect them to be more tailored to their requirements, so being able to create supporting products (help, tutorials, guidance) that can be tailored to those same requirements is becoming more important. A one-size-fits-all approach is much less acceptable now than it was a few years ago.”
- Move towards a less formal tone
Ellis states “As technology becomes more part of our daily lives, we’ve seen a move towards a less formal tone in some types of documentation. This is a consequence of documentation being part of the pre-sales process, and users are generally less scared of technology than they used to be.”
- Embedding User Assistance
Ellis adds “We’re also seeing a move toward embedding user assistance into the application itself, without the need to go to the docs. We’ll be seeing more developments with Conversational User Interfaces, on-boarding screens and micro-content. This is a consequence of users being reluctant to admit they’re stuck and going to the Help.”
- Navigating via Search
Ellis has also spotted a trend within the ISTC’s annual UK Technical Communication Awards entries: “The awards entries have reflected the trend towards navigating via Search, rather than via hyperlinks. I’ve also noticed a move towards content in Responsive Web format, which can be viewed on mobile phones, tablets and laptops.”
If you’d like to enter the UKTC Awards, the industry’s key platform which recognises the value of clear, concise and effective information relating to scientific or technological products or services, please send us your submission here. The entry deadline date is 30th June 2016, so hurry!
Manager, UK Technical Communication Awards
PS for all updates, feel free to check the #UKTCAwards hashtag on twitter…
Last year we had a fantastic level of interest and quality of entries. Here’s how you can help us to build up momentum this year. Participate yourself and nominate others! Consider submitting an entry to the UK TC Technical Awards 2014 yourself, or encourage a colleague to do so. Maybe you have identified an exemplary piece of technical or scientific communication that you feel deserves recognition – push the submit button! We are currently looking for several volunteers to help us with the Awards programme. If you are interested, please contact the Awards manager.