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How Millennials Perceive Technical Documentation

Posted by
Anastasia in Technical Writing on 5/20/20203 min read

girl sitting on grass reading

Millennials are here. This is how generations work - one minute they are toddlers, the next - your company’s executives.

We are talking about practically the whole world and it is hard to believe that people from different cultures and backgrounds could have any resemblance. But with globalization orchestrating our lives there’s not that much to question anymore.

And, no wonder that millennials are going to constitute a huge piece of your technical documentation audience. It is true for any industry. But the main point of focus should be on everything IT.

Today we will try to see how to make sure millennials are satisfied with the user manuals you write.

The Aesthetics Tho

two girls browsing

Millennials are known to judge content by its looks. And, according to some studies they can overlook the content if the page design is bad. Wait...wasn’t judging a book by its cover supposed to be banned forever? Yes and no. What we are seeing with millennials seems to be a different kind of evaluation.

If a page layout and design are poor, it instantly makes millennials think that the source of information could be untrustworthy because it looks unprofessional. With tools we have today to build crisp and professionally-looking technical documentation it is a shame to lag behind. Take a look at great design ideas ClickHelp clients came up with in the ClickHelp Portal Gallery. When explained, this kind of judgement doesn’t seem unreasonable at all.

Max Efficiency Out Through Guidance

Millennials love to chill. Even when it comes to getting information. They want the process of getting data to be as smooth and seamless as possible.

Technical writers already specialize in creating concise and clear texts, illustrations, and instructions, what else is there to improve? With the millennial generation, things like navigation and relevant follow-up content start playing a bigger role.

You need to make sure that when a person is reading a help topic, they will be prompted to the right follow-up material be it more help topics, a video tutorial, another resource, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you understand common reader scenarios and behavior patterns and use this knowledge to guide a reader through material.

There are many tools for that. You can integrate Google Analytics with your help authoring tool, use metrics your HAT provides out-of-the-box, work with readers’ feedback.

Effortless and efficient should be the words to describe a perfect millennial experience with technical documents.

Add More Visual Elements

three people on stairs

We live in the era of visual content and millennials are largely affected by this. We mentioned the importance of visual elements to support user documents in this blog already. So, this is not something that needs to be reinvented, really.

Remember, where there’s an opportunity to make information easier to grasp through images, schemes, gifs, videos, graphs - go ahead and add this visual element.

With millennials, this will work even better because they are used to data being communicated with the help of imagery. Which fits perfectly with the idea of faster and smoother ways of receiving information stated earlier.

Conclusion

The next generation that will arrive after millennials will be living in a yet more digitized and globalized world. This means that the trends will likely shift but the core will remain the same. Luckily, we already have the tools to start building out the perfect techcomm experience for our readers.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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