Pattern Recognition for Technical Communicators

Kai Weber


Pattern recognition is an essential mental strategy for acquiring and disseminating knowledge, though most of us are not aware of it. When applied consciously, technical communicators can employ pattern recognition processes to develop effective documentation more efficiently and help readers orient themselves.

The objective of this webinar is to give technical communicators a better understanding of mental processes that occur when we do our work, whether we research information or develop content. It is geared towards an intermediate and advanced audience who has some experience in technical communication, especially with topic-based authoring and minimalism. Specifically, the webinar explains in lay terms what happens during human perception in the brain (which is "wired" to recognize patterns) when technical communicators need to acquire new knowledge and when technical communicators present that knowledge to their audience.

Learn what pattern recognition is and how it works, what pattern-recognition strategies you may already be employing without even knowing it, and how you can employ those strategies to efficiently acquire information, structure documentation, and support users. The webinar includes some of the presenter's "a-ha moments" explaining why interviews of subject-matter experts and topic-based authoring and minimalism work.

Presenter Biography

Kai Weber is passionate about technical communications: He gets a kick out of making users excel and look good. More formally speaking, he's a senior technical writer for SimCorp in Frankfurt and Copenhagen. Kai got into technical communications with a summer job in 1988, when he translated a COBOL user manual into German. Since then, he's been writing, editing and translating software documentation. Kai went full-time in 1999 and has focused on financial and banking systems since 2001. Kai enjoys coaching and training writers in topic-based authoring and DITA-based information models. He occasionally publishes articles and speaks at conferences, such as TCUK and tcworld.