Information Development in Design, with Scott Abel – Part 2 (A Chat with Cross-Functional Experts)

Dianna Deeney interviews Scott Abel about why members of the technical documentation team should be brought into product design process earlier rather than later. And to encourage product design teams to incorporate the insights available from technical documentation professionals into their design decisions.

This episode is Part 2 of our interview. Part 1 (published earlier) was a discussion involving information development management. This Part 2 focuses on technical communication in design.

This interview is part of our series, “A Chat with Cross Functional Experts". Our focus is speaking with people that are typically part of a cross-functional team within engineering projects. We discuss their viewpoints and perspectives regarding new products, the values they bring to new product development, and how they're involved and work with product design engineering teammates.

About Scott

Scott Abel serves as Content Strategy Evangelist at Heretto. He also runs a consultancy called The Content Wrangler, which helps companies improve how they author, maintain, manage, and deliver technical product information to those who need it, when, where, and how they prefer it. He writes regularly for content industry publications, produces a series of content strategy-focused books for XML Press, and is a dynamic presenter often featured at content industry events worldwide.

Scott and Dianna talk about:

  • Today's approaches of information developers and how they work in project teams.
  • Today's challenges with content and why it's not just an instruction manual. We talk about limits to the ability to scale, deliverability, personalization, and relationships with customer service call centers.
  • Regulations, standards, and awards within the information developer's world.
  • How to approach, engage, and incorporate technical communication people and information developers into an engineering project.

What can you do today?

Re-think the role of writers in product design: "People still think that writers are like artists and less like manufacturers, which is silly."

Scott's advice to wrap information developers into your engineering projects - Do the human thing: start dialogues and have conversations!

Scott referenced these resources in Part 2:

Simplified Technical English - Wikipedia

OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) TC | OASIS (


The Language of Technical Communication « XML Press

The Language of Content Strategy « XML Press

Scott's contact information:

email: [email protected]



Scott's contact information:

email: [email protected]


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