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Some Inspiration for your UK Technical Communication Awards Entry

There is only a matter of days left to enter the 2017 UK Technical Communication Awards (30th June deadline)!

Need some inspiration?

Find out about Rob Woodgate, winner of last year’s ‘Best Procedural Communication’ award, who has some words of encouragement for you…

Rob_woodgate

What was your winning entry from last year?

My entry was a 6-part blog series on scaling documentation, which you can find here.  The series covered what scaling is, how it applies to documentation, and techniques for scaling different parts of the documentation process.

What made you enter the UK Technical Communication Awards?

It was suggested to me by an ISTC colleague, and I figured I had nothing to lose.  I didn’t expect to win!

What difference has winning the award made to you/ your business?

I’m now more confident that what I write about, and the way I write it, is useful for both my industry peers and for clients.  From a business point of view, I met and talked to a lot of people at TCUK because of winning the award, which in turn has led to a greater number of good working relationships.  As a consultant, my business is all about reputation and network, so winning the award has definitely made a difference.

How has winning the award impacted on other projects you are working on?

The award gives me an extra level of reputation to live up to when I’m writing! But if you’re not always striving to get better then you’ll fall behind, and the award is a constant reminder, in a good way, that high standards are important.

Tell us a little about you/ your business

I’m a Documentation and Knowledge Manager who specialises in making knowledge work harder for my clients, especially in agile environments.  In reality, this means helping them create a single version of the truth by aggregating their knowledge in 1 place, and helping them put processes in place to allow their staff to easily create and manage new knowledge.  You can find out more about what I do on my
LinkedIn  profile.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of entering the UK Technical Communication Awards for the first time?

Go for it!  You’ve got nothing to lose, and potentially a lot to gain.  I’ve never entered my work for an award before, and I only did so due to the encouragement of an ISTC colleague (who I won’t name because she’ll get embarrassed, but she knows who she is!).  I don’t expect awards or official recognition for what I do, be it my professional documentation or as in this case my personal blog.  Nonetheless, this award has been an absolute career highlight, and I’m so glad I put my work forward.  If you’re reading this and thinking “I’ve got no chance”, that’s exactly what I thought too.….

 

How to enter

To enter this year’s awards, click here

The awards are the industry’s key platform which recognises the value of clear, concise and effective information relating to scientific or technological products or services.

The entry deadline date is Friday June 30th 2017 and you can enter as many categories as you like, with each entry costing £25 for ISTC members and £40 for non-members.  Awards will be presented during the Gala Dinner at the Technical Communication UK conference on 27th September in Nottingham’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Good luck with your awards entry…

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It’s not too late! 15th July deadline

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

Galyna Key, UKTC Awards Manager

 

Six Emerging Trends within the Technical Communication Industry

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:

  1. 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.”
  2.  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.”
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.”
  5. 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.”
  6. 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!

Galyna
Galyna Key,
Manager, UK Technical Communication Awards

PS for all updates, feel free to check the #UKTCAwards hashtag on twitter…

How you can help us to make the Awards Programme even better

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.