Technical Writing Course Update: Interviewing a Subject Matter Expert.

Monday, September 24, 2012
Last week in the Technical Writing course I'm taking we covered publication goals (business and usability goals) and audience analysis. Absolutely loved it!

This week we're working on task-mapping, table of contents and indexes. I'm in the process of working on my assignment and I can see why task-mapping is so important. I can't wait to try this on a real project.

I've already done a lot of the reading for next week. It involves information gathering and interviewing subject matter experts (SME.) The articles about SME make me laugh because I can think of a few people who fit into 'hoarder' category. The people who want to keep all information to themselves because it makes them feel smarter - they know something you don't. Or maybe it makes them feel more secure in their jobs. In either case, trying to get information from them sometimes feels impossible. After you have interviewed these people and find out you missed something you may find yourself asking them, "Why didn't you tell me that?" Usually the answer from an information 'hoader' is an arrogant, "You didn't ask."

 Below are some links to more information about interviewing SMEs. They are not the ones from my class but basically contain the same information.


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