New Technical Writer: Avoiding The Interview-writing Disconnect

| Total Words: 1079

OVERVIEW

Lost or garbled information is a terrible waste. Especially if it’s the information you gathered from an interview and must now write into your User Document. Here’s how to prevent that waste.

THE SITUATION

You had an interview with a Subject Matter Expert (SME, someone who has the information that you need) for your product. He/she told you all that you needed to know. However, by the time you got to write the material into the User Document, you have forgotten much of what was discussed. Your notes only help a bit. This loss or garbling the information from the SME that you need for your writing is the “Interview-Writing Disconnect.”

SOLUTION

The solution is divided into three components: Preparation Before the Interview, Actions During, and Following the Interview.

TIP: If possible, schedule the interview as close to the time that you are going to write that part of the User Document. The longer you wait between the interview and the writing, the more difficult it will be to recall the content.
Before the Interview

* Your guiding principle is to Be Prepared. You should have read...

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