A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Jong, Steve

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Buggy Whips, the Arch Deluxe, and Quality Improvement   (PDF)

Sometimes quality is not enough to ensure success. Do you know who made the world’s finest buggy whips? Neither do I. Doubtless the manufacturer continuously improved its product to a fare-thee-well, but once the automobile became popular, the market for buggy whips (to say nothing of the market for buggies) evaporated, and there was nothing to be done for it.

Jong, Steven F. Intercom (2003). Careers>TC>Assessment


Exploring Paths Toward Quality Information Products   (PDF)

Information product quality has long been considered undefinable, but that must change if we are ever to improve the quality of our work beyond present levels. Information product quality can usefully be defined as measurable conformance to requirements. Requirements come from three sources: customers, clients, and professional standards. By determining our customers' and clients' critical needs, we can devise conformance metrics. This formulation can be applied in the context of many organizational quality improvement programs, such as benchmarking, continuous improvement, ISO 9000, and (with reservations) Six Sigma.

Jong, Steven F. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>TC>Quality>Methods


Musing on Metrics: Why Measure Usablity?

ISO defines usability as 'a measure of the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which specified users can achieve goals in a particular environment.' To those of us who are interested in documentation quality metrics, this definition is marvellous. We quibble over what typeface maximizes readability, and to what extent readability affects quality, but there’s no arguing with the value of reducing time to task completion. Usability testing closes the loop in the product development cycle; without it, development can spiral off in the wrong direction. Upcoming revisions to the ISO quality standards not only incorporate usability as a quality requirement but also mandate its measurement. To me, usability is an excellent working definition of product quality, and the field of usability is rich in metrics. The briefest web search yields dozens of metrics, such as time to completion of a task, percentage of tasks completed without errors, number of commands or keystrokes or mouse clicks used.

Jong, Steven F. Usability Interface (2000). Articles>Usability


STC Certification: An In-Depth Interview with Steve Jong

Certification will transform the Society, the profession, and the careers of people working today. To me, anything I can do to help accelerate the growth of the program is worthwhile.

Jong, Steve. I'd Rather Be Writing (2012). Careers>Certification>Professionalism>STC


You Get What You Measure—So Measure Quality   (PDF)

We use an Excel workbook to record information about the documents we produce. Originally created to assign document order numbers, we have added to it many categories of process data. It now provides valuable management and tracking information. More importantly, by recording and measuring completion of our critical processes, we reinforce and encourage use of best practices. I kept the rows in chronological printing order, which directly tracked our output. However, because of the order number structure (3), sorting by order number grouped documents by product, title, and revision. Sorting on other columns yielded lists of documents by product, by release, by writer, or by month. Gradually, as we introduced new group processes, I recorded new information about our documents.

Jong, Steven F. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Documentation

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