What is it?
A computing or electronic device that can be worn on your body and that helps you act on information and perform practical tasks.
Why is it important?
With a projected market of $53.2 billion by 2019 (juniperresearch.com), wearables are mobile 2.0. This brings opportunities to technical communicators with expertise in content for wearables.
Why does a technical communicator need to know this?
With the strong market for wearables, technical communicators have opportunities to develop content for wearable devices. It’s important to consider wearables as a subject of technical communication and as a content delivery system.
Wearable users have unique content requirements and use cases. For example, you can use an Apple Watch app as a camera remote control when taking photos with your iPhone’s camera. Content must be timely and concise on the tiny wearable display.
Practical advice: get involved early in a project. Develop wearable personas and use cases to understand customers’ needs. Create content prototypes for wearable interface text and notifications. Participate in usability tests and incorporate feedback.
As a technical communicator for a wearable project, be sure that content meets these guidelines:
- Useful: help people complete a task or make their lives simpler, healthier, safer, happier, or more efficient.
- Timely: provide messages that are pertinent to the time and place.
- Unobtrusive: avoid distracting users with unnecessary content.
- Relevant: provide content that pertains to the current task.
- Concise: trim content to what is required for the wearable use case.
- Straightforward: use a conversational style.
- Visual: provide customization instructions; link to videos where it makes sense.
- Adaptable: test to confirm that content displays well on the target wearables.
- Accessible: ensure that content conforms to accessibility guidelines.
Provide wearable content that meets customer needs to contribute to an excellent user experience.