Mysti Berry, Principal Technical Writer, mParticle, speaks about documentation metrics she follows at her organization and explains knowledge sharing across boundaries.
- Mysti’s LinkedIn
- She has a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from University of California, Santa Cruz
- She got her first technical writing job at a party where she was one of the only two girl geeks at tech. One of her friends at the party referred her to a technical writing job.
- When Mysti started off in technical writing, client – server was a big deal and then SaaS came along. She feels lucky that she had been in the Salesforce during that revolution.
- Speaking about the documentation process at mParticle, Mysti says, “We have multiple processes depending on what is being documented the most, that takes most of our time, and gets most of our focus.
- “When a feature is new or it’s being potentially enhanced, we get involved very early with the product manager. We would like to know how this feature is going to work before it is handed off to engineering department. Hence, the writing team along with UX is involved at the same time, attending meetings, and following the progress of the project.” Mysti says.
- Mysti adds “It is always such an interesting challenge to measure how well the content is being consumed by the audience. In documentation, how do you know how long a customer should be looking at a page before they’re like, not finding their answer. We have some direct measures like how many new bugs closed compared to bugs opened. Additionally, we watch the page views, to make sure that people aren’t failing to find the most important content.”
- “At mParticle, we have a tool called indicative. It lets us measure things. Bounce rate is the leading indicator of not finding what you’re looking for. Unless it’s a tutorial, which is designed to go step one, step two, step three.”, quips Mysti.
- As a great community leader and influencer, Mysti thinks it’s so important to share information across corporate boundaries, as appropriate, so that you can grow your knowledge of technical writing, in general. So, you know where you’re headed and what you should be doing because technical writing is a bit of a black box to many software companies.
- “We live in our individual silo solving the same problem over and over. If we shared more information, which happens a lot on the community channels and conferences, we can improve standards. “, she continues.
- She believes that the main problem concerning knowledge sharing is when you have many kinds of users, how do you structure the information so that everybody is getting just what they want and not too much.
- “The only solution to this problem is finding the right way to structure information or maybe even publishing it twice, you know, once for a non-technical person and once for a technical person. You do need standards and you do need to make decisions about it so that you do it consistently” Mysti says.
Rapid fire with Mysti Berry
- Biggest influence
Andrea Lez, she was Mysti’s first boss at Salesforce
- Highly recommended resource
- A piece of advice you would give your 20-year-old self
“Be prepared to forget everything you learned and replace it with something new about every five years.”
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