In the Technical Communication professorship, we describe, analyse, evaluate and solve problems that arise in relation to communicating technical content. We focus on information products in the area of technical development and usage, particularly in the Industry 4.0 environment, as well as the processes required to develop and distribute these information products. Thus, we focus on topics such as information design, intelligent information, information management, automation and the usability of human-machine interfaces.
It is important to deal with these topics because doing so generates findings that are relevant to the digital transformation in technical communication. In the professional world and society, these findings contribute to acquiring competences that lead to innovative concepts and solutions in existing and future areas in technical communication.
The user-friendliness of products is a key success criterion in the field of technical communication – just think of the problems that can occur when dealing with a software interface that is not intuitive or a user manual that is not written in a way that is appropriate for its target audience.
During the course of the digital transformation, classic technical documentation is undergoing a transformation that includes the use of new technologies such as AR applications. One of our research areas is therefore the exploration and implementation of AR information products in the field of technical documentation.
Industry 4.0 is also bringing about a paradigm shift in the area of technical documentation from classic instructions to “intelligent information”: increasingly, the objective here is to provide modular text units enriched with metadata that offer users innovative and context-specific access options.
Technical communication is experiencing a watershed moment as it transitions from electronic to digital guidance. What role does usability play here, especially in the context of instructions? What skills are being taught during the training of technical editors and information designers? And how can content be prepared in a way that is appropriate for its target audience? Birgit Fuhrmann addresses these questions in the Technical Communication podcast, which was created in cooperation with GFT Akademie.
The findings from our projects and research are integrated into teaching in the BA in Applied Languages, in particular the specialisation in Technical Communication and Information Design, as well as the CAS Technical Documentation. Students in the BA programme are regularly given the opportunity to participate in projects with industry partners.
In addition, we offer workshops in other degree programmes, such as the Master in Business Administration – Major Public and Nonprofit Management.
All students in the School of Applied Linguistics also have access to the infrastructure of our usability lab, and our expertise for bachelor’s and master’s theses as well as for other projects is at their disposal.