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.

 

101.
#22997

Accommodating Various Abilities and Disabilities

Training sessions invariably have participants that come from a wide array of backgrounds and have various talents and levels of expertise. Some will be outspoken and others more withdrawn. Some will already have a background in accessible design, while others may have never heard of Web accessibility. Your participants will also have a wide range of technical expertise. You may have die-hard developers that program in text editors or an administrator who doesn't know what HTML stands for. It's important that you gain an understanding of what your training participants' talents and knowledge levels are, and then take advantage of their skills and abilities.

WebAIM (2005). Articles>Education>Accessibility

102.
#33766

Accommodating XML 1.1 in XML Schema 1.0

As published the W3C XML Schema specification references XML 1.0 explicitly, and incorporates by reference certain key definitions, in particular those of the 'Char', 'Name' and 'S' character classes. XML 1.1 changes the contents of these classes, so although nothing in the existing XML Schema specification specifically bars infosets produced by XML 1.1 conformant parsers, such infosets, if they exploit any of the relevant changes in XML 1.1, will not be accepted as valid by conformant XML Schema 1.0 processors.

Thompson, Henry S. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML

103.
#31694

Accomplishing Knowledge: A Framework for Investigating Knowing in Organizations   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article proposes a shift in how researchers study knowledge and knowing in organizations. Responding to a pronounced lack of methodological guidance from existing research, this work develops a framework for analyzing situated organizational problem solving. This framework, rooted in social practice theory, focuses on communicative knowledge-accomplishing activities, which frame and respond to various problematic situations. Vignettes drawn from a call center demonstrate the value of the framework, which can advance practice-oriented research on knowledge and knowing by helping it break with dubious assumptions about knowledge homogeneity within groups, examine knowing as instrumental action and involvement in a struggle over meaning, and display how patterns of knowledge-accomplishing activities can generate unintended organizational consequences.

Kuhn, Timothy and Michele H. Jackson. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Knowledge Management>Organizational Communication

104.
#34856

The Accomplishment of Authority Through Presentification: How Authority Is Distributed Among and Negotiated by Organizational Members   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The complex distribution and negotiation of authority in real time is a key issue for today's organizations. The authors investigate how the negotiations that sustain authority at work actually unfold by analyzing the ways of talking and acting through which organizational members establish their authority. They argue that authority is achieved through presentification—that is, by making sources of authority present in interaction. On the basis of an empirical analysis of a naturally occurring interaction between a medical coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières and technicians of a hospital supported by her organization, the authors identify key communicative practices involved in achieving authority and discuss their implications for scholars' understanding of what being in authority at work means.

Benoit-Barné, Chantal and François Cooren. Management Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Management>Organizational Communication>Rhetoric

105.
#31559

Accountability and Return-On-Investment

Once viewed more as art than science, marketers are increasingly interested in measuring performance. Like it or not, there is a new wave of accountability in the world of marketing, and if you're not prepared, you could get swept under it. Companies are becoming increasingly concerned with ensuring that all activities are profitable. As a result, each dollar invested in marketing is being challenged to demonstrate bottom line performance. New forms of marketing, escalating ad costs and tools that purport to measure marketing effectiveness have all contributed to the pressure traditional media is facing to "prove its worth."

Watrall, Rick. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Assessment

106.
#24673

Accountable Assessment in the Age of Digital Labor   (peer-reviewed)

Entrepreneurship is THE economic mode of the digital age and entrepreneurship is defined by risk. Students who will become workers must be comfortable, even engaged by, risk-taking.

Glaros, Michelle. Kairos (2001). Articles>Education>Assessment>Online

107.
#38911

Accountants as Communicators

While accountants have been stereotyped as bean counters or number crunchers, good writing skills are an essential element to their success. Accountants must master the concepts and proper application of generally accepted accounting principles, but also must show they can communicate that understanding to peers, superiors, and clients.

Kim, Kenneth. Trusted Professional, The (1998). Articles>Business Communication>Financial>Workplace

108.
#36357

Accuracy in Website Terms and Conditions

For legal documents, accurate information is important. When you use a template, make sure that you customise the content carefully.

TechScribe (2010). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Policies and Procedures

109.
#38336

Accuracy vs. Insights in Quantitative Usability

Better to accept a wider margin of error in usability metrics than to spend the entire budget learning too few things with extreme precision.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2011). Articles>Usability>Testing>Methods

110.
#37402

Achieving and Balancing Consistency in User Interface Design

The Principle of Least Astonishment, in shorthand, encompasses what we, as designers, must achieve to ensure consistency in our designs. Consistency is a fundamental design principle for usable user interfaces. But the thing that astonishes me is that it’s actually necessary to explain this principle. Surprise implies the unexpected. Of course, users want the response to a given action to be what they expect; otherwise, they would have done something else. In user interactions, the unexpected is pretty much the same as the unwanted. Surprise usually implies something bad rather than something positive—unless users already have such dismally low expectations of their software that they might think, Wow! It worked. I’m so astonished.

Zuschlag, Michael. UXmatters (2010). Articles>User Interface>Usability

111.
#38924

Achieving Balance: Work, Play, and Down Time

No two people are alike, and different balancing tactics work for different people. Try some of these approaches to strike a healthy balance between work, social, and personal time.

Dragonette, Laura. Carolina Communique (2014). Articles>Careers>Time Management

112.
#37808

Achieving Consistency among Editors

I manage a group of editors at a software company. This topic describes how we strive to achieve consistency in editing software documentation among a group of editors both within a department and across divisions in a large company. We have a staff of 14 editors that serve five large writing departments. Our editors are excellent grammarians before they come to SAS, but they also get considerable training and mentoring in SAS specific guidelines when they join our staff. I acknowledge that it’s impossible to achieve 100% consistency across all editors, but consistency is worth striving for for several reasons.

Moell, Patricia G. STC Technical Editing SIG (2010). Articles>Editing>Collaboration>Technical Editing

113.
#37175

Achieving Design Focus: An Approach to Design Workshops

Stakeholders with business, design, and technology viewpoints can pull products in different design directions—sometimes without knowing how the design work fits into an overall strategy. This can leave stakeholders feeling lost and unhappy. Creating a focus around design goals and asking and answering the hard design questions as a team is an effective way of coalescing a team around one design direction. At the same time, it can create a more optimal and fun working environment.

Szuc, Daniel and Josephine Wong. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Collaboration>Content Strategy>User Experience

114.
#36115

Achieving Designer–Developer Collaboration and XAML

Collaboration between designers and developers is always great topic to write about. I believe that for the first time that kind of collaboration is possible to full extent and it is possible today. Key element for enabling this is XAML – eXtensible Application Markup Language aka Holy Grail of designer – developer collaboration.

UX Passion (2009). Articles>Web Design>Collaboration>XML

115.
#26168

Achieving High Visibility on the Global Web - How to Prepare Your Web Site for Translation

Is there a demand for your products or services outside of your domestic market? If so, how are you marketing to this group of potential customers? How do you overcome language and cultural barriers? Web Localization, which is the process of translating your web site into your customers' languages and adapting to local markets, is an essential step toward establishing a market presence.

Iler, Huiping. Wintranslation (2005). Articles>Web Design>Localization

116.
#29154

Achieving Objectivity Through Genred Activity: A Case Study   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Finding itself at the center of highly publicized legal and political deliberations over fairness in testing, personnel credibility, and legal liability, the training department at a North American transit authority adopted a genre system that enabled the production of objective evidence of job competence, which was then used to make objective decisions about who passed and failed various training programs. The ongoing genre-structured activity of the department involved not only the regularization of organizational texts but also the regularization of social interaction mediated by those texts, which, while producing the types of interpretively stable documents required for successful public deliberation, led to a shift in authority and social relations within the department that instigated considerable resentment and loss of morale among many veteran instructors.

Little, Joseph. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2007). Articles>Writing>Instructional Design>Genre

117.
#25781

Achieving Success Outside of the Pack

If you're among the individual contributors of the world, your temperament and aptitudes impel you to flee the flock and take your fortunes into your own hands.

Richardson, Douglas. ULiveandLearn.com (2005). Articles>Collaboration

118.
#32438

Acid Redux

I fully acknowledge that a whole lot of very clever thinking went into the construction of Acid3 (as was true of Acid2), and that a lot of very smart people have worked very hard to pass it. Congratulations all around, really. I just can’t help feeling like some broader and more important point has been missed.

Meyer, Eric. MeyerWeb (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Assessment

119.
#19143

ACM’s Computing Professionals Face New Challenges   (Word)

The ACM community is in a position to take a leadership role in responding to the challenges brought by last fall’s terror attacks. Some of us have already been contacted to contribute to designs for improving security at airports, verifying identity at check-in, or redesigning cockpits to give more options to pilots and ground controllers. Others will be asked to redesign systems that trace financial transactions across international borders or examine email patterns among loosely affiliated groups. These efforts win the broadest support when our decisions about how to pursue safety and security are coupled with a strong defense of civil liberties and privacy.

Shneiderman, Ben. University of Maryland (2001). Articles>TC>Professionalism

120.
#31095

Acquired Disability and Returning to Work: Towards a Stakeholder Approach   (members only)

This article examines the potential application of stakeholder theory to the case of a disabled worker returning to work. A gated notion combining both the instrumental and ethical views of stakeholder theory is explored as a way to understand how to determine who may be classified as a stakeholder. This nuanced application of stakeholding to the process of returning to work lends itself to the consideration of mediation techniques as mechanisms of conflict avoidance rather than exclusively as dispute resolution techniques. Implications in terms of the study of the return to work process, disability, and the further potential for practical application are discussed.

Yue, Anthony R. Journal of Workplace Rights (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Accessibility>Workplace

121.
#31149

Acrobat 7 zum komfortablen Erzeugen von Druck und Schnittmarken einsetzen

Wer kennt das Problem nicht? Aus einem riesigen Dokument wurde ein PDF erzeugt. Nun muss es auch noch für den Druck aufbereitet werden. Dafür fehlen aber die Druck- und Schnittmarken. Acrobat 7 hilft hier aus der Patsche.

TECOM (2003). (German) Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe Acrobat

122.
#36240

Acrobat 9: Grayscale PDF: A Smaller PDF

If you've designed a flyer or newsletter and are distributing the document in PDF format, the color is likely a critical aspect of the document. If, however, your PDF file is part of a workflow in a law office, the color may be incidental, and may actually add nothing to the document's purpose other than bloating the document's file size.

Mankin, David R. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2010). Articles>Document Design>Graphic Design>Adobe Acrobat

123.
#36016

Acrobat 9: Making Search Easy

The Search command is NOT part of the default tools layout, therefore severely reducing the chance that a casual PDF 'consumer' will use the more powerful Search command. Here's a cool trick that will greatly increase the likelihood that one of your customers will call on the Search command: you'll put it right in their hands.

Mankin, David R. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2009). Articles>Document Design>Search>Adobe Acrobat

124.
#35048

Acrobat 9: PDF Data to Excel

Rather than exporting a whole document out of Acrobat, I'll focus on a table within a PDF page. Suppose you'd like to have this table's data in a spreadsheet so you can manipulate it. There's no need to retype the data into Excel. All you need to do is use Acrobat's Selection tool to highlight the content you wish to export.

Mankin, David R. Blogs.com (2009). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Adobe Acrobat

125.
#28187

Acrobat Features Turbocharge the Online Review Process

One of the more tedious and error-prone processes in technical writing is that of collaborative document review. Even when documents are shared electronically, keeping track of comments, suggestions, and changes contributed by multiple team members can be exasperating. Too often errors due to collaborative review lead to delays, missed deadlines, misunderstandings and an inaccurate final document.

Gravel, Charlie. Carolina Communique (2003). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe Acrobat

 
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