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.



La Arquitectura de la Información del Siglo XX al XXI

Resumen de la historia reciente de la Arquitectura de Información, comenzando en la decada de 1970.

Bustamante, Jesus. AIfIA (2002). (Spanish) Articles>Information Design


Arrows in Our Quiver

On mailing lists, at conferences, in conversations at cocktail hours, I'm starting to see a growing awareness of how our various disciplines form a community of practice.

Olsen, George. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Articles>Web Design>Community Building


The Art And Science Of The Email Signature

Email signatures are so easy to do well, that it’s really a shame how often they’re done poorly. Many people want their signature to reflect their personality, provide pertinent information and more, but they can easily go overboard. Why are email signatures important? They may be boring and the last item on your list of things to get right, but they affect the tone of every email you write. Email signatures contain alternative contact details, pertinent job titles and company names, which help the recipient get in touch when emails are not responded to.

Neville, Kat. Smashing (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Correspondence>Email


L'Art de Préparer une Demande de Subvention

Les présentes directives ont pour but d’aider les nouveaux chercheurs et les chercheurs expérimentés à optimaliser leurs chances de réussite dans un concours de subventions jugé par les pairs. Et il s’agit bel et bien d’un concours. Avec un taux de réussite de 50 % ou moins, la différence entre la réussite et l’échec résulte souvent non seulement de la qualité de la démarche scientifique, mais aussi de la qualité de la demande de subvention. Selon toute probabilité, la qualité des projets scientifiques visés par les demandes de subvention est sensiblement comparable dans les tranches de 10 % qui se situent de part et d’autre du seuil d’approbation. Ce qui peut faire la différence, c’est la façon de préparer la demande.

Kraicer, Jacob. University of Western Ontario (1997). (French) Articles>Grants>Proposals


The Art of Asking Questions

Asking questions is one of the most powerful ways to open up a text and begin a discussion. It’s not a new technique, of course, but it’s one a philosophy professor in college taught me years ago.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Interviewing


The Art of Being Human

Site visitors crave the sense that someone is there, within and behind your Web pages, your emails and newsletters. Dealing with the bare technology of online interactions is a cold experience for many, or even most of us. It makes us feel anxious. Technology isn't warm. It has no heart. It neither understands us, nor cares for us. For many Web sites, whether for businesses or organizations, we simply plug in and play the bare technology - the super-duper means of information delivery. All the site visitor sees and feels is the design, the interface, the links and the clicks. The experience is about as warm and human as banking with an ATM machine.

Spool, Jared M. User Interface Engineering (2002). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Usability


The Art of Being Human

Site visitors crave the sense that someone is there, within and behind your Web pages, your emails and newsletters.

Usborne, Nick. ClickZ (2001). Articles>Web Design>Writing


The Art of Being Profoundly Simple

I once heard it said of a particular speaker that he presented “profundity wrapped in simplicity.” In other words, he was deep and profound, yet simple and straight to the point. Not every blog is the same in nature, but for most, this is a worthy goal. Be profound. Be simple. How can you do that?

Cox, Brandon. Fuel Your Blogging (2010). Articles>Writing>Blogging


The Art of Blogging, Part 1: Overview, Definitions, Uses, and Implications

Innovations build on existing perceptions and structures - at least until the new ideas are fully manifested. Then, the innovation discards the shackles of the old model and stands on its own merits and strengths. The development of video is often used to support this phenomenon. Video was initially used only to tape existing live stage performances - a new concept built on the perceptional structure of the existing. True innovation in this medium did not occur until someone recognized the uniqueness of video, and the limitations of live stage shows.

Siemens, George. elearnspace (2002). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Blogging


The Art of Blogging, Part 2: Getting Started, "How To", Tools, Resources

The best way to learn to blog is to blog. Fortunately, getting started is fairly simple. Three main options exist: hosted, remote server, and desktop.

Siemens, George. elearnspace (2002). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Blogging


The Art of Defensive Programming

If you can't understand a program, then you can't debug it. Even with code that you have written yourself, if you come back to it six months or a year later, you may find yourself wondering “Why on earth did I write that? What was it for?” It doesn't take long to forget the details of a program when you aren't working on it any more. Make life easier for yourself, and write programs as clearly as possible. Also, provide such defences as you can against the possibility that VBA might change between versions of Word.

West, Jonathan. Word MVP Site, The (2005). Articles>Word Processing>Programming>Microsoft Word


The Art of Expectations

I’d personally love a computer experience which emphasized ‘flow’ and gradual, constant change. No longer would every little change pull your attention away from an important task. Instead, those Mail notifications, system messages and the like could gently change without you noticing, until you decided you wanted to actually look.

Lang, Keith. UI and Us (2008). Articles>User Interface>User Centered Design>Cognitive Psychology


The Art of Grant Writing

Do you enjoy writing factual material? Can you present your facts in a convincing manner? Do you feel strongly about a particular cause? Then, perhaps, grantwriting is for you.

Ehrenkranz, Penny Lockwood. Writing World (2001). Articles>Grants>Proposals


The Art of Icons

Being "minimalist" and "streamlined" is not always most effective. Have you ever written yourself a quick, shorthand note, only to find later that you had no way to unpack your own great idea? Icons work similarly. They are pictures – meant to provide a visual shorthand to users moving through a task. While research indicates that icons are best when initially paired with text to increase recognition and learnability, users experienced with a given set of icons will begin to ignore the text, scanning for and acting from the image alone.

Michaels, Mary M. UI Design Newsletter (2007). Articles>Graphic Design>User Interface


The Art of Indexing and Some Fallacies of its Automation

The phrase 'information storage and retrieval,' coined in the fifties - when computers were first harnessed to the twin tasks of recording verbal communication and finding it again on demand - is somewhat misleading and it is also missing a vital element. The misleading part is that many people seem to believe that these tasks can only be performed by machines. Yet information has been stored on stone tablets, papyrus rolls and in books for thousands of years and it has also been found when needed. The missing part is that, in order for stored information to be retrievable - whether manually or by machine - an intermediate operation is of crucial importance: the stored information must be indexed.

Wellisch, Hans H. CPD (1992). Articles>Indexing>Information Design


Review: The Art of Project Management

Can project management be an art? Has Berkun truly created a jargon-free guide for the whole project team? Kalbach leads us through the high-level tasks and the major milestones of this new book, while keeping us on task.

Kalbach, James. Boxes and Arrows (2005). Articles>Reviews>Project Management


The Art of Risk Communication: Overcoming the Public Fear Surrounding Controversial Projects   (PDF)

Technical writers and editors in the environmental field can make additional contributions to the document production process by becoming familiar with risk communication principles. These principles can help us communicate more effectively with the public about controversial environmental projects, which are ever increasing. Considering the public's power to delay such projects, our ability to diminish public opposition through good risk communication skills is invaluable.

Barr, Christine R. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Risk Communication>Environmental>Writing


The Art of Self-Marketing

Whether you're a tech writer, documentation manager or training professional, after reading this article you may consider incorporating some marketing techniques into your annual objectives to maximize your career development.

Harris, Kerri. Writing Assistance (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing


The Art of Technical Writing

To a non-practitioner, the art of technical writing is a nebulous pursuit to be avoided at all costs. The territory is ripe with jargon and Rube Goldberg devices that are not to be trusted. Besides, who in their right mind would want to be a "Technical Writer" (whatever that is)? But to the artisan, technology and language are the subject and medium in which we create our masterworks.

HelpScribe (2008). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing


The Art of the Signup

There is no single best way to have users sign up for an account online, because there are too many variables to be considered for this aspect of the user experience. Varying factors can include security, purpose of the account, understanding of the user at the time of signup, what information they must have ready and what they will have to do next, among other things. So to point to a cool new site – even a competitor’s – and say “I want a one-field signup process like that!” does not necessarily serve your needs or your user’s. In fact, there is an awesome site I recommend to people that suffers greatly from a confusing signup process because they tried to simplify it too much.

Colvin, Kris. Design for Users (2008). Articles>Web Design>Community Building>User Experience


The Art of Usability Benchmarking

One common concern raised by managers and engineers alike is this: how easy to use is enough? This question, and the absence of an easy answer, is often the first defense people offer against investing in usability and ease of use. The smart usability engineer or designer has at least one response: the usability benchmark. By capturing the current level of ease of use of the current product or website, a reference point is created that can be measured against in the future. It doesn't answer the question of how usable is enough, but if the benchmark is done properly, it does enable someone to set goals and expectations around ease of use for the future.

Berkun, Scott. ScottBerkun.com (2006). Articles>Usability>Methods


The Art of Writing Technical Articles

My advice for those wish to become writers: Write! Write! Write! I have always maintained that great writers are born, and professional writers are made. In the born writers there is an unquenchable thirst for writing, a passion for writing. Writing is a mission. Writing is the soul of the person. The professional writer does it for a living. There is a deadline and the writer can churn out the required number of words.

Kamath, Gurudutt R. IT People (2003). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing


Art, Science, and Magic: What Really Happens During User-Centered Design?

One of the great debates in user-centered design (UCD) centers on whether UCD is an art or a science. If one were to examine the research literature on how concepts are formed, some surprising insights emerge with respect to this important dilemma. A primary concept from this area of research is "subsumption." Can the concept of subsumption be helpful in resolving the "art vs. science" question for UCD? The answer is, well...maybe!

Righi, Carol. ViewPointz (2002). Articles>User Centered Design


Arthur Levitt and the SEC: Promoting Plain English   (PDF)

Intercom's assistant editor profiles a recent recipient of STC's President's Award. The Securities and Exchange Commission was honored for requiring plain English in all disclosure statements filed with the SEC.

Nielan, Cate. Intercom (2000). Articles>TC>History>Minimalism


An Articulation of a Fragmented Discipline: A Postmodern Conception of Formalism and Rhetoric in Professional Communication

If a single course is to be an effective representation of the discipline it should hope to include rhetoric, critical thinking, formalism, service learning, and civic rhetoric to, depending on how effectively so much can be managed within a semester.

Hicks, Tim. Orange Journal, The (2005). Articles>TC>Theory



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