TCUK online – October 2021

October 2021 sees us welcome Chui Chui Tan who will be presenting her talk entitled “Getting to know your international audiences”.

1–2pm, Tuesday 12 October 2021

Email to join the mailing list for the invite link.

About the presentation

In this hour, Chui Chui will talk about why, when designing and communicating with your global customers or users in different countries with different cultural backgrounds, it is important to have a clear holistic understanding of them and their context. Examples will be given to show what to look out for when setting design and business directions to provide an as best and localised experience for your global audiences as possible. The session will also include time for the audience to raise any questions they might have and for us to discuss as a group.

About the presenter
Chui Chui Tan
Chui Chui Tan

Chui Chui Tan, Founder of Beyō Global, is a culturalisation strategist and customer experience (CX/UX) consultant. She helps companies create products and services which provide the experience their global customers need, desire and expect.

With a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction, Chui Chui takes a holistic approach to fully understanding customers/users with different cultural backgrounds, to help businesses define their (product, marketing, design, business, new market launch) strategies and grow their international reach and markets.

Her clients include names such as Spotify, Netflix, Asana, Babylon Health, Marriott, and Clarks, as well as start-ups, preparing for their launch and advising their global strategy. Chui Chui is the author of International User Research, and frequently speaks and runs online/offline workshops on Culturalisation and International UX.

TCUK online – September 2021

During September 2021, we are very pleased to have Catherine Rushton come to speak to us about Translation in the tech comms world.

1–2pm, Friday 17 September 2021

Email to join the mailing list for the invite link.

About the presentation

So. You need to translate your documentation. How do you find the right translator(s)? What exactly is the sorcery that turns your files from  language A into language B? And what can you as the customer do to ensure  fit-for-purpose translations while obtaining value for money? This talk will help you distinguish the good from the mediocre, walk you through translation tools, processes and practices, and set you up for success and sanity.

About the presenter
Catherine Rushton
Catherine Rushton
Cat Rushton is a freelance translator and reviser working from French, German and Spanish into English. She specialises in technical documentation and industrial marketing content. Before setting up her business in 2011, she spent 20-plus years running the gamut of international B2B marketing, market research, consultancy and business analysis. Alongside a Modern Languages degree she has an MA in European Management from Cranfield and is a qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). Cat is a closet nerd with a creative streak, which may explain why she builds her own computers but is also a published songwriter.

TCUK online – August 2021

For August 2021, we are pleased to have Mark Lewin speaking with us about working in developer documentation.

1–2pm, Wednesday 11 August 2021

Email to join the mailing list for the invite link.

About the presentation

Developer documentation is an increasingly in-demand and lucrative area for technical writers to be in. However, many are put off by the assumption that you need to be a programmer to make the switch. In this talk, Mark will tell you what it’s like to work in developer documentation, what skills are required, and how you can find work.

About the presenter
Mark Lewin
Mark Lewin

Mark Lewin is a technical writer and trainer and the author of books and training courses on various programming topics. He currently works on the documentation team at Ably. He has a particular interest in web mapping APIs, probably due to his terrible sense of direction.

When he’s not hunched over a keyboard, he likes to act (badly) in a local drama group and take his kids on one of his (now infamous) “circular walks”, where the true answer to the question “Are we there yet?” is “I haven’t got a clue”.

TCUK online – July 2021

In July 2021, Chris Hester will be speaking with us about Governance.

1–2pm, Tuesday 6 July 2021

Email to join the mailing list for the invite link.

About the presentation

Our teams are facing requests for more, better content – faster. Governance frameworks codify the policies, processes, roles and responsibilities that enable consistent content production and can help Tech Comms teams deliver on those requests. This session will look at what a governance framework is and how to start defining one for your team.

About the presenter
Chris Hester
Chris Hester

Chris Hester is the founder of Red Desk Studio, a consultancy that specializes in content strategy, taxonomy, and knowledge management solutions. She has presented at the TCUK conference and other events.

TCUK online – June 2021

June 2021 will see Bjørn Smalbro speak at TCUK online about designing Adobe FrameMaker templates.

1–2pm, Thursday 10 June 2021
Email to join the mailing list for the invite link.

About the presentation
Bjørn works with all sorts of graphic design. Lately he has taken up developing templates for Adobe FrameMaker. It was in that capacity that Adobe reached out to him, about creating new templates for Adobe FrameMaker 2020.
Adobe FrameMaker, which is the main part of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite, is mostly used for long document publishing like end users guides, product manuals and reference works.
This is an area where graphic innovation can be a bit conservative, so Bjørn was chosen to create some fresh designs.
Being a sample manual, there are some considerations to do and design decisions to contemplate. Bjørn will talk about the design process, the thinking behind it and show the samples. He will also demonstrate how FrameMaker’s templates can be used for working with the aesthetics of publications.
About the presenter
Bjørn Smalbro
Bjørn Smalbro
Bjørn lives in Copenhagen, Denmark with his wife and daughter in a crumbling old bungalow. In his sparetime he likes tinkering with woodwork and and enjoys reading most everything from sci-fi over russian novels to graphic novels. Bjørn also owns and runs and is a webshop specializing in highend Tequila and Mezcal and is a europe oriented tequila blog.

May 2021 – TCUK online

Our May event for TCUK online will include a presentation by Michael Ingeldew titled “The changing role of the technical publication in Integrated Product Support”.

1–2pm, Tuesday 11 May 2021
Email to join the mailing list for the invite link.

About the presentation
The aerospace, defence and space technical publication is changing and at a rapid rate. The adoption of domain focused standards and specifications coupled with external influences like the Internet of Things and a continuous OEM ambition for a deeper integrated product, all mean the authors role is evolving and how the technical publication itself has changed on many projects.
In this webinar, Michael Ingledew, Managing Director of Tech Data World, will present on how the modern technical publication is being used today to support complex products and platforms in the aerospace, defence and space domains. Where the publication is going and why the author today is more than a traditional writer.

March 2021 – TCUK online with Chair of IPLF

Date & Time: Thursday 18 March, 13:00-14:00 GMT.
View the event announcement in your time zone.

We are very pleased to announce that Vera Gergely, the Chair of the International Plain Language Federation (IPLF), is going to be joining us for our March TCUK online.

If you’re not sure what plain language is, the chances are you’ll immediately recognise it when you hear about it. We’re very excited to have Vera come and speak.

In 2014 Vera embarked on the ambitious task of introducing plain language in Hungary. Since then, they have worked as a freelancer, offering plain language editing and training to companies. Vera also wrote a comprehensive guide on how to write clearly in Hungarian.

Vera also leads the Drafting Committee of the ISO Working Group for international plain language standards, is the chair of the International Plain language Federation, and a Board member of PLAIN (Plain Language Association International).

Send an email to to receive the link to the event.

January 2021 – TCUK online

The ISTC’s monthly events continue in the new year with a presentation by Mike Unwalla. Contact to attend.

1pm-2pm GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2021
“Simplified Technical English”

About the presentation
Human failures cause accidents. A typical cause of human failure is unclear instructions. ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English (STE) helps to make instructions clear, and thus STE decreases the risk of human failure.

Standard English can be difficult for people who read English as a second language. Phrasal verbs (multi-word verbs) such as ‘carry out’, ‘put up with’, and ‘work out’ are a special problem. STE helps to make text clear to people who read English as a second language.

STE is a controlled language. This presentation gives examples of rules from STE. The examples show how STE makes text as clear as possible.

The implementation of STE in an organization is not easy. The implementation must include terminology management. Input from subject-matter experts is necessary. Possibly, technical communicators will resist the use of STE, because they do not like to conform to a controlled language. Technical communicators must be trained to write STE.

You can read most of what I will say in ‘The case for ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English’ in ‘Current Practices and Trends in Technical and Professional Communication’ ( Come to this presentation ready to ask questions, argue, disagree, and discuss. Thank you.

About MikeMike Unwalla
Many years ago, Mike taught English as a foreign language. Now, he is a freelance technical writer. At the ISTC conference (now TCUK) in 2001, someone showed him a software checker for AECMA Simplified English, which is now ASD-STE10 Simplified Technical English (STE) ( Since then, he has been interested in STE. He was a temporary UK representative of the Simplified Technical English Maintenance Group (STEMG) at the May 2019 meeting. He is a member of the UK Simplified Technical English Working Group.

December 2020 – TCUK online

Our 2nd TCUK Online event is on Wednesday Dec 9th 2020 – 13:00-14:00
Contact to receive details to attend.

5 To Midnight: even more of a last-minute rush
(Note: This is an update and refresh of David’s 2019 Ten to Midnight presentation)

Session abstract:
Documentation is often written right before the midnight deadline. It’s a classic release-based documentation problem: we think we can’t start to write content until the software is stable, tested and ready for release. But that’s the worst time to access SMEs, do the research, and write good-quality content. We write in a rush, or we release documentation late. It’s a lose-lose scenario for both writers and readers.
However, if we look at practices in code development, we see that “Continuous Integration” (CI) and “Continuous Delivery” (CD) is increasingly being used to solve a similar problem in software, combined with a “Shift left” approach. David will describe how he is adopting a CI/CD solution for documentation, and how you can apply a similar solution yourselves, by both “shifting down” to turn everyone into writers, and by “shifting left” to write documentation earlier.

Professional biography:
David is the Information Architect at Snyk, a software company selling developer-first tools based around the Snyk platform.
David has worked in technical communications for nearly 30 years, including information architecture, technical writing and content development, working on a range of documentation: from product descriptions, to user guides, to detailed API documentation. David has worked for multiple companies in the software sector, including ServiceNow and White Clarke Group.