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Christina Gorton for DevEdBookClub

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Twitter Chat: Chapter 6 Recap

Cover Photo by Chris J. Davis on Unsplash

We started a book club! Each week we host a Twitter chat on Thursdays to discuss a chapter of Docs for Developers.

On Thursday Dec. 30th we had our 6th Twitter chat, hosted on the @DevEdBookClub Twitter account about Chapter 6.

This post is a recap of the chat and a place to continue the conversation.

Visual Content

What docs have particularly good examples of visual content?
What do you like about them?

Megan Sullivan pointed to Vue’s documentation and this flow chart in particular as a good example of visual content.
Vue Lifecycle diagram

Portia mentioned Julia Evan’s programming zines called Wizard Zines. They use visuals to cover a variety of topics like Bash, Networking, and Linux.

Dvkr gave a shout out to the comics that are found in React’s new beta documentation. They enjoy how the comics personify React.

Aisha Blake said she liked Plaid’s documentation because of the illustrations that help her visualize the use of their product. They combine the visuals with helpful code examples.

What are your favorite visuals for learning new content?

Creating Visuals

What’s your workflow for creating visual content? At what point in the writing process do you add them?
What tools do you use?
Do you have any questions about creating visual content that this group might be able to help weigh in on?

I shared that my workflow changes depending on the content. Sometimes I start with a visual and create content around it. Other times I leave the visuals for the end. I also mentioned I enjoy using Figma and Affinity designer to create visuals that are SVGs. Some of the visuals I create I like to animate and SVGs make this easier to accomplish.
I use Procreate when creating an image.

Valeria uses online white boards like Weje to manage multiple projects and visualize their workflow.

Aisha and Portia both admitted they have a hard time creating visual content. Aisha likes to commission illustrations when possible. Portia tries to draw something on paper first and then uses tools like Miro.

Do you have a preferred workflow? What tools do you like to use to create visuals for your documentation?

Favorite Takeaways

What takeaways from this chapter can you apply to your own documentation practice at work?

Any quotes or ideas that resonate with you?

Sarah Rainsberger had two favorite takeaways. First, she liked the message “Simplify to Amplify". Visuals can be really helpful but can also be very distracting.

Second, she appreciated the reminder that screenshots aren’t always the best option. They lack text for screen readers. Use in your documentation only when they are the best option.

Portia added she would have liked a section in the book that talked about maintaining visuals. A lot of documentation sites struggle with keeping their visuals up-to-date.

Join the Conversation 🗣

You can see the full conversation on the DevEdBookClub Twitter account.

Add a comment on the Twitter thread or share your thoughts here to continue the conversation.

What did you think about Chapter 6 of Docs for Developers?

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