Technical Writers = Business Analysts = Usability Expert

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    I am seeing a trend here, where TW=BA=UX. Multitalented roles of Technical Writers are now becoming more involved within organizations. They must know the business as well as Business Analysts, and they are also becoming our Usability Experts. They are a versatile, adaptable, resourceful group of writers, mainly because their function is in knowledge transfer. They have become so involved in the business processes that they are now our Knowledge Managers with sub-titles of Technical Writer, Business Analyst, and Usability Expert

    Let’s first define a Technical Writer (TW), a Business Analyst (BA), and a Usability Expert (UX). Check out this comparison chart:

    Tasks required TW BA UX
    Understand the business Writes about business models Analyses the business model Uses business models
    Transfer knowledge Ability to communicate Ability to communicate Ability to communicate
    Work across various functions/disciplines Gathers information Gathers information Gathers information
    Information Architect Designs a user interface (UI) structure Designs an interface (UI) structure Designs a user interface (UI) structure
    Governance of information Handles data or information Handles data or information Presentation of data or information

    The TW translates the business terms and technical information into simple easy to understand terms and guidelines so that the project can be accomplished.

    The BA translates business policies, strategies, or regulations into system requirements for a project and takes a course of action to ensure the completion of the project.

    The UX translates business requirements into information retrieval by ensuring the right data is captured or presented through a defined process.

    All three roles have to:

    • Analyze and document the current business processes to ensure that the content is understood by the project stakeholders.
    • Create and present process flows, information architecture, site maps, and prototypes for complex applications.
    • Identify and document future business processes including opportunities for process improvements.
    • Understand the features, functions, and capabilities of applications or services, or products in order to achieve high-performance goals.
    • Gather business requirements using different requirements-gathering techniques (e.g. interviews, surveys, meetings, etc.).
    • Analyze and document business requirements using specific modeling or case tools.
    • Partaking in tracking changes to the project.
    • Work with the business stakeholders, i.e., graphic designers, web developers, business analysts, and software engineers.
    • Translate business requirements into technical and functional specifications.
    • Collaborate with technical resources or any subject matter expert to gather specific (data or design) information.
    • Conduct, coordinate, and perform user acceptance tests, user walk-through sessions, and other ways to test the designs as well as create test plans to ensure adherence to specifications.
    • Act as a liaison between the IT project team and the business stakeholders.
    • Translating client goals into user-centered designs.
    • Write user-friendly text for on-screen instructions, headings, button labels, link text, and other matters that have an effect on a user’s experience.
    • Create guidelines and share best practices.​

    The role of the technical writer is ever-evolving and becoming more relevant every day.