trends that fizzled - Dashboard
1,342
visibility Viewed
308
Total Responses
308
flag Completed
100%
timelapse Completion Rate
0
do_not_disturb_on Dropouts
4 min
access_time Average Time
 
Countries Responses
US 46.10%
IN 14.94%
CA 8.12%
GB 5.84%
FR 2.92%
DE 2.60%
IL 2.27%
AU 1.62%
FI 1.30%
CZ 1.30%
ES 0.97%
SE 0.97%
NZ 0.97%
IE 0.97%
PT 0.65%
RU 0.65%
AE 0.65%
SG 0.65%
UA 0.65%
PL 0.65%
BE 0.32%
BG 0.32%
RO 0.32%
BR 0.32%
IT 0.32%
Unknown 0.32%
BY 0.32%
KR 0.32%
HK 0.32%
NL 0.32%
AR 0.32%
HR 0.32%
AT 0.32%
HU 0.32%
PK 0.32%
DK 0.32%
Total 100.00%
Indicate the status of each trend by dragging the sliders. Consider each trend as it relates to documentation (rather than looking at the trend independent of its impact on documentation).
Question Count Score
--- Totally faded Hanging in there Still going strong
the semantic web 164 2.75
desktop publishing tools 290 2.88
wikis 298 3.04
pushing docs to social media (Twitter) 216 2.39
video-based documentation (YouTube) 292 3.42
Stack Overflow’s approach to example-driven documentation 194 3.24
tripane help generated by HATs 174 2.65
chatbots 266 3.11
offshoring 219 3
the STC 220 2.57
DITA 276 3.08
mobile-specific outputs and apps for documentation 240 3.15
content strategy 289 3.71
intelligent content 225 3.43
single sourcing 280 3.59
augmented reality 191 2.82
dynamic personalization 180 2.9
XML 285 3.26
structured authoring 273 3.36
DocBook 194 2.43
crowdsourcing 223 2.78
user-generated content 242 2.89
Average 3.06
the semantic web
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 12 7.32%
Totally faded 57 34.76%
Hanging in there 55 33.54%
Still going strong 40 24.39%
Total 164 100 %
desktop publishing tools
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 8 2.76%
Totally faded 92 31.72%
Hanging in there 118 40.69%
Still going strong 72 24.83%
Total 290 100 %
wikis
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 8 2.68%
Totally faded 65 21.81%
Hanging in there 132 44.3%
Still going strong 93 31.21%
Total 298 100 %
pushing docs to social media (Twitter)
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 15 6.94%
Totally faded 131 60.65%
Hanging in there 40 18.52%
Still going strong 30 13.89%
Total 216 100 %
video-based documentation (YouTube)
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 5 1.71%
Totally faded 33 11.3%
Hanging in there 88 30.14%
Still going strong 166 56.85%
Total 292 100 %
Stack Overflow’s approach to example-driven documentation
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 10 5.15%
Totally faded 21 10.82%
Hanging in there 76 39.18%
Still going strong 87 44.85%
Total 194 100 %
tripane help generated by HATs
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 9 5.17%
Totally faded 75 43.1%
Hanging in there 58 33.33%
Still going strong 32 18.39%
Total 174 100 %
chatbots
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 10 3.76%
Totally faded 45 16.92%
Hanging in there 118 44.36%
Still going strong 93 34.96%
Total 266 100 %
offshoring
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 10 4.57%
Totally faded 46 21%
Hanging in there 97 44.29%
Still going strong 66 30.14%
Total 219 100 %
the STC
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 9 4.09%
Totally faded 96 43.64%
Hanging in there 95 43.18%
Still going strong 20 9.09%
Total 220 100 %
DITA
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 7 2.54%
Totally faded 62 22.46%
Hanging in there 109 39.49%
Still going strong 98 35.51%
Total 276 100 %
mobile-specific outputs and apps for documentation
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 4 1.67%
Totally faded 51 21.25%
Hanging in there 90 37.5%
Still going strong 95 39.58%
Total 240 100 %
content strategy
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 1 0.35%
Totally faded 9 3.11%
Hanging in there 63 21.8%
Still going strong 216 74.74%
Total 289 100 %
intelligent content
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 5 2.22%
Totally faded 23 10.22%
Hanging in there 67 29.78%
Still going strong 130 57.78%
Total 225 100 %
single sourcing
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 2 0.71%
Totally faded 15 5.36%
Hanging in there 80 28.57%
Still going strong 183 65.36%
Total 280 100 %
augmented reality
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 7 3.66%
Totally faded 68 35.6%
Hanging in there 69 36.13%
Still going strong 47 24.61%
Total 191 100 %
dynamic personalization
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 9 5%
Totally faded 50 27.78%
Hanging in there 71 39.44%
Still going strong 50 27.78%
Total 180 100 %
XML
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 4 1.4%
Totally faded 45 15.79%
Hanging in there 108 37.89%
Still going strong 128 44.91%
Total 285 100 %
structured authoring
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 5 1.83%
Totally faded 26 9.52%
Hanging in there 108 39.56%
Still going strong 134 49.08%
Total 273 100 %
DocBook
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 12 6.19%
Totally faded 106 54.64%
Hanging in there 57 29.38%
Still going strong 19 9.79%
Total 194 100 %
crowdsourcing
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 5 2.24%
Totally faded 89 39.91%
Hanging in there 80 35.87%
Still going strong 49 21.97%
Total 223 100 %
user-generated content
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
--- 7 2.89%
Totally faded 77 31.82%
Hanging in there 93 38.43%
Still going strong 65 26.86%
Total 242 100 %
Comments/explanations for any of your selections above:
02/21/2022 138563095 DITA is not scalable except at the Enterprise level, but isn't suitable for anyone *except* Professional Technical Writers. If you have SMEs on your team, who you want to empower to have agency over the subject matter, you go with the most-approachable tool they can use/get started with quickly. STC--I renewed my membership for the Salary Survey, but TBH based on my own experience AND both Reddit and Write The Docs, it's dated. Their site itself is *exceptionally* dated. And I am waiting for levels.fyi to add our profession to the master list. It's a very large oversight to have extremely detailed input for the devs, but not the writers who are the other half of why they have success. But that's preaching to the choir. A question re: markdown is probably a good addition
02/15/2022 138211308 I am using Docbook (Oxygen Editor) which serves my purpose of generating different outputs. To use any new trend, you need to migrate data there and that's a major challenge!
02/12/2022 137944740 Wish there were two more options: *Hasn’t caught on yet* and *Never caught on to begin with.*
02/09/2022 137743510 had to use "Unsure" for cases where I am not familiar with the tech or know about it but never used it
02/09/2022 137724477 Some trends that have faded don't necessarily deserve the senescence, ex. "user-generated content" in the form of FAQs &/or user forums seem to be fading away despite how useful I finds them both as an end-user and a tech writer. Would love to see a similar survey on tool usage!!! Still out there and in use: Confluence? FrameMaker? RoboHelp? What percent are using XML/markup/markdown? Flare? Oxygen?
02/09/2022 137721303 Nicely done, Tom There should be a 'Finished' category for: - Desktop Publishing - Structured Authoring (Framemaker, Oxygen) - DITA - not implemented and more like hype in my experience Wikis are the rage (Confluence) Example-driven documentation or Feature-driven documentation is shifting towards capability-driven documentation, particularly in SaaS Crowdsourcing is all about audience analysis, feedback hubs User-generated, self-published content is all about engagement and what Esther Dyson referred to as the 'attention economy' TJ Cardenas
02/05/2022 137465486 Cheers
02/05/2022 137459707 Feel free to use any of the following providing I will not be indentified :) Once in a while, I'm tasked with answering 'what are the trends in technical writing'. I tend to answer with, for the Nth year running, markdown will be the next big thing. Followed by 'open source' and 'user generated' documentation. I think your tooling and approach must be driven by the need of your product, your manpower, development/release cycle (or lack thereof), your target audience, and your budget. At the moment, I see three concepts competing - DITA, doc as a code, and SaaS wikis (think Confluence, Document360) etc. Continuous delivery seems to be the thing and doc as a code is gaining prominence - it's cheap, developers love it, it's quick to deploy - if you treat your PRODUCT as code. The moment you add complexity whether on product, marketing, or document level, writers face a workflow nightmare of merge/pull requests, rebases, customized markdown, HTMLs etc. And that's before you enter the long-term curation/maintenance issues. To make it simple, you end up with extremely atomized/structured docs that start to resemble the DITA approach. Fine, if your audience is a developer and/or your product produces the same result for everyone if they perform a certain action - irrespective of the input data or setup. And that's before considering the fact that a human language and, by definition, text is inherently more complex than ANY code. Have you ever met a writer who edits a single line without considering the entire page or the entire section? Then there's DITA - useless for most of one-trick ponny companies developing a single, albeit complex, product, no matter how great and powerful. Not to mention that these are often startups, or grown-up startups, that just don't want invest into pricy DITA solutions. Which leaves me with wikis, or wikified git-based systems, which to me offer the most balanced approach to technical documentation for anything between huge corps with multiple products that are best served by DITA, and hard-core developer-oriented products that can get away with rendering github markdown using an open source HTML rendering too. Writer's job is to write the docs and curate their documentation. In 2022, they should not use the command line. They should not 'program' the TOC or the parent-child page doc structure.
02/05/2022 137456341 IMHO, doc trends are evolving with the times. Users demand tiny brochures and not 1000 page tomes. I'm even noticing user guides on the kindle, and engineers produce use and throw documentation, again in keeping with peoples' short memory spans and impatience to read more than a phrase at a time.
02/05/2022 137445627 Can't say that I ever thought of Stack Overflow as documentation, just a forum where people ask questions. And wow the light gray on slightly darker gray is hard to read.