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.

 

376.
#36826

Approaches to Professionalism: A Codified Body of Knowledge   (members only)

Professionalism is a recurrent topic of discussion - formally and informally - among technical communication scholars and practitioners. In the diversity among our programs and approaches to technical communication, the difficult issues surrounding certification in technical communication is a professional goal that major stakeholders have typically considered too complex to be addressed. Increasingly, however, many of these stakeholders agree that we can no longer continue to ignore these complex issues. In an earlier article, the author have described twelve issues that must be addressed and tasks that must be undertaken to move the profession towards meaningful certification. In that discussion, the author also suggests approaches to begin the work on each of these steps. In this present discussion, the author addresses the first of this steps-codification of the bodies of knowledge through the development of an encyclopedia of technical and professional communication. In order to accomplish this, the author describes the categories of knowledge in the field and the editorial and organizational structure of the project.

Rainey, Kenneth T. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>TC>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

377.
#37924

Approaches to User Research When Designing for Children

Children’s exposure to computing devices depends on a great variety of factors—including cultural traditions, economic power, and family values. But there is no doubt that, in general, children’s access to technological devices and interactive products has increased dramatically in recent years. We are now seeing even higher adoption of technology among children—thanks to the unpredictably intuitive interaction of youngsters with touchscreen technologies and mobile devices that they can carry everywhere and use at any time. As a result, it is important that we, as designers of interactive products, understand what is different in the development of digital applications that we’re targeting specifically for children. What are the implications for the UX design and user research methods we have traditionally followed?

Naranjo-Bock, Catalina. UXmatters (2011). Articles>User Experience>Methods>Children

378.
#32877

Appropriate Use of Alternative Text

Adding alternative text for images is the first principle of web accessibility. It is also one of the most difficult to properly implement. The web is replete with images that have missing, incorrect, or poor alternative text. Like many things in web accessibility, determining appropriate, equivalent, alternative text is often a matter of personal interpretation. Through the use of examples, this article will present our experienced interpretation of appropriate use of alternative text.

WebAIM (2005). Articles>Accessibility>Image Editing>Web Design

379.
#14988

Approximately "Real World" Learning with the Hybrid Model

Most workplace professionals write documents in a fairly mature way. They typically write: Independently or with collaborators, without direct or constant supervision; With frequent interaction with team members at remote locations, and not just with those at their own division or company; With computers and other electronic equipment; and With the freedom to make important decisions about project and time management, such as determining when and how to interact with others, how to collaborate with irresponsible writing partners, how to resolve unexpected problems that arise, and how to meet deadlines despite mishaps and obstacles. How can instructors of business and professional writing prepare students for the relative freedom and independence of this kind of thinking and writing?

Spilka, Rachel. Teaching With Technology Today (2002). Articles>Education>Writing>Workplace

380.
#37555

Apps vs. the Web

Pull the iPhone out of your pocket and look at the home screen. Likely, you’re seeing some well known brands on the web: Facebook, Flickr, and Google to name just a few. You’ll also see companies like Amazon, Target, and Walmart which sell a lot of products via the web. Like you, these sites and companies know how to build an effective website using the latest and greatest web technologies. The iPhone’s Safari browser also supports HTML5 markup with CSS3 styling and is powered by a fast JavaScript engine. So why is there a proliferation of apps instead of web pages that can do the same thing?

Hockenberry, Craig. List Apart, A (2010). Articles>Web Design>Mobile>User Interface

381.
#15088

April 15, 2002, through August 15, 2002   (PDF)

This report covers specifications, standards, and amendments received from April 15, 2002, through August 15, 2002.

Bach, Claudia. Intercom (2002). Articles>History>TC

382.
#39112

Review: April 2015 Chapter Meeting Summary: Gretyl Kinsey on Content Strategy

Gretyl Kinsey, technical consultant at Scriptorium Publishing Services, gave an entertaining and informative presentation on content strategy at the April STC Carolina chapter meeting. Gretyl's presentation was followed by a lively question-and-answer session.

Sprankle, Catherine. Carolina Communique (2015). Articles>Reviews>Content Strategy

383.
#34468

Architecting User Assistance Topics for Reuse: Case Examples in DITA

In this column, I’ll review what user assistance architects mean by reuse and what its benefits can be. I’ll then describe some different scenarios for reuse and offer guidelines that user assistance architects and information developers can follow. My examples show how DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) can be an effective reuse framework. But the principles I discuss go beyond DITA, and you can apply them to any structured information framework or toolset.

Hughes, Michael A. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Content Management>Documentation>DITA

384.
#25979

Architectural Considerations in Digital Asset Management

What is the proper foundation for an enterprise-scale Digital Asset Management (DAM) system? How much of that system should be part of an organizations shared infrastructure and how much should be tailor-made to a specific application? There is no single answer to these questions, but changes in the technology industry are forcing everyonevendors and customers aliketo change their assumptions about how DAM systems will be built. This paper explains how the content-management infrastructure is changing, why that matters to DAM, and what benefits can be derived from leveraging a content infrastructure for DAM. Examples from an enterprise implementation at the University of Michigan illustrate the types of architectural issues and requirements that affect platform choices when selecting a digital asset management system.

Walter, Mark. Gilbane Report (2004). Articles>Content Management>Multimedia

385.
#26643

Archiving Usability Reports

Most usability practitioners don't derive full value from their user tests because they don't systematically archive the reports. An intranet-based usability archive offers four substantial benefits.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2005). Articles>Usability>Methods

386.
#33664

Are Accessibility Statements Useful?

An accessibility statement provides website visitors with information on how to utilize any accessibility features implemented, together with known barriers and how to overcome them. This information is usually presented on a dedicated page within the website. This article will look at the benefits of providing an accessibility statement together with common problems, before evaluating whether accessibility statements are useful.

Tomlinson, Leona. Digital Web Magazine (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Policies and Procedures

387.
#36558

Are AVCHD Camcorders the Next HD Lie?

When I first read about the AVCHD format with its use of MPEG4-AVC (H.264) video compression at a maximum of 24 mbps versus HDV which uses the older MPEG-2 format at 25 mbps, I was very excited about the new format. My enthusiasm dampened when I read the fine print that actual AVCHD implementation only uses 13 to 17 mbps MPEG4-AVC for compatibility with cheaper storage devices. Take a look at the screenshots below and it pains me to see how much detail is lost in the newer HD format.

Ou, George. ZDNet (2008). Articles>Multimedia>Video>Standards

388.
#32956

Are Designers Focused Enough on User Needs?

I find that many designers give much more of their time to learning the latest standards trick than learning the latest “designing for users” trick. Here are a few reasons why this may be so.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>User Centered Design

389.
#11774

Are Organizations Doing Enough to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Time-to-market pressure can diminish product testing time and quality. The results are product recalls, shoddy merchandise, and apologies by CEOs about poor quality. The consequence is the loss of consumer confidence. Don’t these companies realise that there’s no compromise on quality? I’m sure that these companies are ISO 9000 certified or have a Total Quality Management (TQM) program, so what is the problem? Perhaps the problem is not with ISO 9000 or TQM but with the way it is used.

Dick, David J. and Shelby Rosiak. Usability Interface (2000). Articles>Usability>Assessment>ISO 9000

390.
#19357

Are Shared Discourses Desirable?

Some kind of shared discourse is needed for the shared work of the academic community to continue; and even more so, this paper argues that the nation needs some kind of shared discourse in which to address the pressing problems that confront us all.

Bizzell, Patricia. JAC (1994). Articles>Rhetoric>Theory

391.
#34576

Are Structured Authoring and Wiki Opposing Forces?

There are two camps in technical documentation. There’s the “quick web” folks who connect easily and author easily, and then there’s the “structured quality” camp that requires more thoughtful testing and time spent on task analysis and information architecture.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2007). Articles>Content Management>Information Design>Wikis

392.
#20533

Are There Vultures Among Us? Is The Recent Re-Emergence of Videoconferencing Suspect?

What are the reasons videoconferencing seems to be flourishing when so many other technologies are being challenged? The following will be the world according to Max and five reasons why I think videoconferencing is having its heyday.

Kopsho, Max. Presenters University (2002). Articles>Presentations>Teleconferencing>Videoconferencing

393.
#34126

Are URL Shorteners A Necessary Evil, Or Just Evil?

What started out as something people did via e-mail and bookmark-sharing services like Delicious, is now moving to Facebook, Twitter, and other social broadcasting services. It is just so much more efficient to share a link once with all your friends and followers than to send it to each one individually.

Schonfeld, Erick. TechCrunch (2009). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Social Networking

394.
#11861

Are Users Stupid?

Opponents of the usability movement claim that it focuses on 'stupid' users and that most users can easily overcome complexity. In reality, even smart users prefer pursuing their own goals to navigating idiosyncratic designs. As Web use grows, the price of ignoring usability will only increase.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2001). Articles>Usability

395.
#20469

Are We Agreed?

'Agreement' refers to elements in a sentence having the same number, gender, case or person. In English, it's probably an issue only for number (that is, singular vs plural) and case (that is, 'I' vs 'me', 'he' vs 'him' and so on).

Right Words. Articles>Writing>Style Guides

396.
#31780

Are We Giving Readers What They Want, in the Way They Want and Need It?

With all the talk about Web 2.0 and the attendant technologies, are readers actually being better served by documentation now than they were in the past?

DMN Communications (2008). Articles>Documentation>Technical Writing>User Centered Design

397.
#35232

Are We The Puppet Masters?

Through the designs we create, we have the ability to directly influence another person’s behavior. The ethical implications of this are important and not easily definable. I was interested in ethics before I ever considered becoming a designer, but the lessons I learned while studying philosophy impacts the way I view my designs. In nature, our goal is a good one. We strive to help others by improving the interactions that define their life. This drives us to create and innovate new ways of interacting with old concepts. The question remains, do we have the right to influence another person? Further, are there guiding principles we can follow that can keep us on the moral path? The answers to these questions rests on the shoulders of the whole community, not a single person or group.

Nunnally, Brad. Johnny Holland (2009). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design>Rhetoric

398.
#28359

Are We There Yet?

It's true: even simple projects get messy. Christina Wodtke comes clean on Swiss Army knives, the writing on the wall, and the untidy glory of the Boxes and Arrows redesign contest.

Wodtke, Christina. Boxes and Arrows (2006). Articles>Web Design>Project Management>Case Studies

399.
#33220

Are We There Yet? Effects of Delay on User Perceptions of Web Sites

One of the chronic challenges that will be highlighted by emotional design is site download speed. There are many sources of delay in Web site and application delivery.

Straub, Kathleen. Human Factors International (2003). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Emotions

400.
#25431

Review: Are Weblogs Changing Our Culture?

As modern as they are in their instantaneity, blogs, like e-mail, seem winningly old-fashioned to me.

Sullivan, Andrew and Kurt Andersen. Slate (2002). Articles>Reviews>Writing>Blogging

 
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