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Unnecessary Words With Nick Whittaker of Wolters Kluwer

Category: Podcast

Last updated on Sep 28, 2022

Nick Whittaker, Documentation Manager at Wolters Kluwer joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninjas.

Connect with Nick and Wolters Kluwer here:

Key Takeaways:

How knowing multiple languages helps with writing documentation

Nick speaks multiple different languages and he is sure that knowing multiple helps him with his technical writing. This is how Nick initially got into technical writing, his boss discovered this and brought Nick into the documentation team.

Being clear and concise

Nick states that to be an effective writer you need to be clear, concise and must write in the active voice. You should also remove any unnecessary words.

Doing all of the above will significantly improve how easy your writing is to read by your users or customers.

Reducing ticket volume and increasing NPS with documentation

Since implementing modern, searchable help files, Nick has noticed a decrease in the number of support tickets. They have found that their customers are happier – their average NPS score is increasing as document quality increases.

Nick’s #1 best documentation related learning source

Nick’s previous bosses boss created a style guide for their team that combined aspects of the Chicago Manual Of Style and Elements Of Style. It fit onto one web page and was entertaining and easy to read.

Nick says that it wasn’t just the information within the guide that helped him with his writing but also the way it was presented. When writing you need to think about who your audience is, but also about how to keep it interesting and Nick’s bosses boss definitely did that… 

Nick is also currently reading Write Better Right Now and recommends it highly.

Get into the habit of writing and read what you’ve written afterwards

Nick’s one piece of documentation related advice for his twenty year old self would be to just get into the habit of writing, as over time you will improve if you write regularly. And then also to read what you have written afterwards, not as you write. If you get into the editorial mindset too early in the process, you will stifle your creative self.

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Gowri Ramkumar

Feb 19, 2020

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