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The Authoring Side Revisited: Tracking Writing and Reading Processes in Technical Communication

Technical communication has developed as a profession in response to the expanding digitalization and globalization. Source text quality is crucial in technical communication, because source text issues can easily snowball into end user, translator and even legal issues. Following a mixed-methods approach of interviews, participatory observation, screen capturing and eye-tracking, we take the reader’s perspective, but crucially, also the writer’s perspective into account. Focusing on end-user documentation for software applications, we map the effects of writers’ effort and content optimization on readers’ ease of processing and task success. The project results will allow us to improve users’ reading and task performance, to support software developers with best practices and to support professional and academic education in designing and implementing real-world technical writing courses.
Date:1 Oct 2021 →  Today
Keywords:technical communication, source text creation, text optimization, writing rules, screen tracking, eye tracking, alignment of writing and reading
Disciplines:Text linguistics, Professional writing, Psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics