A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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Typography is the study and process of typefaces; how to select, size, arrange, and use them in general. Traditionally, typography was the use of metal types with raised letterforms that were inked and then pressed onto paper. In modern terms, typography today also includes computer display and output.

 

1.
#31492

The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint

I am trying to evangelize the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. While I’m in the venture capital business, this rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc.

Kawasaki, Guy. How to Change the World (2005). Articles>Presentations>Information Design>Typography

2.
#37250

The 10/90 Rule for Magnificent Web Analytics Success

For every $100 you invest in web analytics, you should spend $10 on tools and $90 on people with the brain power to think about the results from the tools.

Kaushik, Avinash. Occam's Razor (2006). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis>Log Analysis

3.
#34497

2009 Brings ADA Changes

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) took effect on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA, which was signed by President Bush on September 25, 2008, is intended to restore Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provisions that had been eroded by a series of Supreme Court decisions.

Trapp, Greg. National Federation of the Blind (2009). Articles>Accessibility>Legal>United States

4.
#38665

2012 Judging Day: Another Successful Competition

On a beautiful fall morning in November, a sizable group of STC volunteers gathered on the SAS campus in Cary for the 2012 Judging Day, an annual event for evaluating and critiquing entries from businesses in the area.

Bryan, Bill. Carolina Communique (2012). Articles>TC

5.
#36900

22 Things STC Does for Communities

22 things STC is doing for our chapter. This list provides a detailed education on the relationship between Society and our chapter.

Buttram, Diana. Carolina Communique (2009). Articles>TC>Standards

6.
#38845

The $250 Question

STC membership has declined over the years. Yearly membership fees sharply increased several years ago, and fewer employers pay for membership in professional organizations. Folks question the yearly membership fees. “What do I get for $250 a year? Webinars that I have to pay for and two magazines.”

Loring, Sheila. Carolina Communique (2013). Articles>TC

7.
#37049

The $300 Million Button

It's hard to imagine a form that could be simpler: two fields, two buttons, and one link. Yet, it turns out this form was preventing customers from purchasing products from a major e-commerce site, to the tune of $300,000,000 a year. What was even worse: the designers of the site had no clue there was even a problem.

Spool, Jared M. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms

8.
#30998

404 File Not Found: Citing Unstable Web Sources   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Researchers, including students, must accommodate to the mutating character of hyperlinks on the World Wide Web. A small study of citations in three volumes of BCQ demonstrates the phenomenon of 'URL rot,' the disappearance of sites cited in the sample articles. Digital technology itself is now being used to create pockets of permanence, but with the understanding that preservation of content is only one ingredient in the mix of media and format migration. Databases like JSTOR offer digitally preserved copies of many scholarly journals. Online journals and search engines may offer their own archives. In general, researchers should cite digital articles in databases where possible and consider avoiding references to online journals with print editions.

Griffin, Frank. Business Communication Quarterly (2003). Articles>Research>Style Guides>Online

9.
#38629

50 Years in the Making: An Interview with Andrew Malcolm

On July 28, 2012, Jamie Gillenwater interviewed Andrew Malcolm, a member of Education & Research, Accessibility and the STC Rochester chapter.. Jamie and Andrew met at the 2012 Annual Conference honors banquet in Chicago. Jamie asked for an interview to explore how Andrew became a technical communicator.

Gillenwater, Jamie. Carolina Communique (2012). Articles>Interviews

10.
#38630

5th Grade Grammar: Take the Quiz!

If you think your grammar skills are top notch, take this 5th grade grammar quiz to find out!

Eftekhar, Christina. Carolina Communique (2012). Articles>Writing>Grammar

11.
#33351

80/20 Again: Critical Architectural Junctures

Argues that we should focus our design and architectural efforts on the few options that provide the greatest benefit.

Rosenfeld, Louis. Louis Rosenfeld (2002). Articles>Information Design>Planning

12.
#39097

80/20 Practitioners Make Better Communicators

Approaches that are either too general or too specific can easily overwhelm practitioners—and derail budgets. Fresh from recent experiences with two large-scale redesigns, Katie Kovalcin suggests that flexibility and open communication can transform all team members into what she calls “80/20 practitioners,” creating a more effective balance of time and resources.

Kovalcin, Katie. List Apart, A (2015). Articles>Project Management>Web Design>Collaboration

13.
#37526

The 960 Grid System Made Easy

The first time I discovered the 960 Grid System, I was immediately excited about the possibilities of implementing complex layouts so easily. However, since I was fairly new to web design at the time, when I downloaded the files, I quickly became overwhelmed at how complicated the whole thing seemed. With all this code, how could this be the easy way to create a layout?

Johnson, Joshua. Six Revisions (2010). Articles>Web Design>CSS

14.
#34455

A Call to Action for Web Managers: Blow the Whistle

We had a huge, unruly Web site. It just had different graphics, a better-named Web team and more people shoveling on content and applications. Finally, out of desperation, we decided to try a new-fangled thing called a Web content management system.

Welchman, Lisa. WelchmanPierpoint (2009). Articles>Web Design>Content Management>Case Studies

15.
#37160

A Monumental Day Dawns for Technical Communicators: Certification!

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) announced today that certification for the technical communication field has been approved. Within the next year, technical communicators will be able to attain certification in their profession.

STC (2010). Articles>Certification>TC>STC

16.
#38743

Review: A Review of Microstyle

We live in a world that, in many ways, has become shorter. Shorter messages. Shorter interactions. Shorter attention spans. And the popularity of services like Twitter encourage brevity, for better or for worse. As a writer of any stripe, you need to adapt to this change. And that’s idea underlying the book Microstyle by Christopher Johnson. The book is packed with solid advice on how to write compactly while still passing along useful information.

Nesbitt, Scott. ScottNesbitt.net (2013). Articles>Reviews>Writing

17.
#38742

Review: A Review of Writing for the Web

These days, we can’t escape writing for the online world. Whether you contribute to web-based publications, run your own blog, or are a freelancer or full-time employee doing corporate work, writing for the web has become an essential skill. While online writing shares a number of similarities with writing for print, it also has more than a few nuances that you need to learn. That’s where Writing for the Web by Lynda Felder comes in. It’s easily one of the best books that I’ve read on the subject. Writing for the Web is a thin book, weighing in at 181 pages. But those pages pack a lot of practical information. Whether you’re new to writing online or someone with more than just a little experience, you’ll learn something from this book.

Nesbitt, Scott. ScottNesbitt.net (2013). Articles>Reviews>Writing>Online

18.
#31840

A Team Approach to Information Architecture

A case study of a team approach to information architecture at Duke University by graduates of the Duke Continuing Studies Technical Communication Certificate program.

Olson, Amy, Sangita Koli and Dino Ruggiero. Carolina Communique (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Information Design>Content Management

19.
#26320

A to Z(ee) with P3P

When you build websites that rely on cookies and they are expected to work with privacy settings other than default, you’ll have to deal with P3P. Read on to find out about the cornerstones of the Platform for Privacy Preferences, and get your hands dirty with an example guiding you from empty hands to a complete basic implementation.

Willerich, Matthias. Content with Style. Articles>Web Design>Privacy>Standards

20.
#34451

A Web Policy is a Policy, Not a Standard

I've noticed recently that people (and organizations) often interchange the policies and standards labels as if there is no difference between them... like those who insist the Web and the Internet are the same. I'm not one for splitting hairs, but in this case, policies are truly not the same as standards and it's important to be clear about the distinction.

Koniezeski, Delia. WelchmanPierpoint (2009). Articles>Web Design>Style Guides>Policies and Procedures

21.
#33197

A-Z Indexes to Enhance Site Searching

On a Web site or intranet each of the alphabetically arranged entries or subentries is hyperlinked to the page or to an anchor within a page to where the topic is discussed. Since an alphabetical index can be quite long, it is often divided into pages for each letter of the alphabet. Typically, each letter is linked at the top of the page allow a jump to the start of that letter’s section of the index.

Digital Web Magazine (2005). Articles>Web Design>Indexing>Information Design

22.
#33302

A. Stanley Higgins and the History of STC's Journal   (PDF)

A profile of Stan Higgins, one of the first editors of STC's journal. Based on archival research and an interview with Higgins. Includes a table of journal titles (e.g., TWE Journal, STWE Review) and names of editors.

Malone, Edward A. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>TC>Publishing>History

23.
#32319

Aardvark et al.: Quality Journals and Gamesmanship in Management Studies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Publication in quality journals has become a major indicator of research performance in UK universities. This paper investigates the notion of `quality journal' and finds dizzying circularity in its definitions. Actually, what a quality journal is does not really matter: agreement that there are such things matters very much indeed. As so often happens with indicators of performance, the indicator has become the target. So, the challenge is to publish in quality journals, and the challenge rewards gamesmanship. Vested interests have become particularly skilful at the game, and at exercising the winners' prerogative of changing the rules. All but forgotten in the desperation to win the game is publication as a means of communicating research findings for the public benefit. The paper examines the situation in management studies, but the problem is much more widespread. It concludes that laughter is both the appropriate reaction to such farce, and also, perhaps, the stimulus to reform.

Macdonald, Stuart and Jacqueline Kam. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Publishing>Management>Research

24.
#27724

ABBR and ACRONYM are for User Agents, Not for End Users

The WCAG (1.0) guideline 4, checkpoint 4.2, about ABBR and ACRONYM, has for a long time been too unclear to implement. The drafts for XHTML 2.0 and WCAG 2.0 seem to have solved most problems.

Tverskov, Jesper. Smack the Mouse (2004). Articles>Web Design>HTML

25.
#36726

Abby and the Broken Fence

There is a decision doc managers need to make all the time: balance savings today against expenses tomorrow; balance constantly patching a doc with tearing the whole thing down and starting anew. My solution to fixing my fence was the exact same I would have taken to patching a doc.

Raymond, Robert. Indus (2010). Articles>Documentation>Project Management

 
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