Branch Report: Taking Audience Participation to New Levels with Task Models

MKHorlor_webTechnical communicators and other interested folk gathered at Streamliners on a sunny Tuesday evening in February to hear Maree Horlor from Trimble NZ talk about big diggers!

Maree’s talk, entitled “Task Models, Diggers, and Dayton, Ohio” promised pictures of very big diggers, and she did not disappoint. As well as ogling the mighty machines we listened, spellbound, as Maree presented to us her experience of using task models, personas, and scenarios to plan a substantial user documentation project.

A real feature of the meeting was the task analysis audience participation task that Maree got us to do. This involved a lot of discussion, laughter, and sticky notes (always a winning combination), and resulted in the audience bonding over shared morning pre-work routines. With a predominantly female audience, it was not surprising to find out just how many tasks get done in that dreaded 2 hours before leaving for work in the morning.

As always with a TechCommNZ meeting, I came away inspired and determined to find out more about the techniques, and I plan to spend a happy hour or two researching the subject over the next few weeks or months.

It was great to see lots of new faces at the meeting as well as the regular attendees and old friends. As a ‘lone writer’ I really value the chance to catch up with industry colleagues and learn new ideas and techniques. A huge thanks to the Christchurch Branch Organising committee for their efforts.

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