A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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A Case for Web Storytelling

In our attention to style and technology, we often overlook a vital element in the web design mix: narrative voice.

Cloninger, Curt. List Apart, A (2001). Design>Web Design>Rhetoric


Case Study - Building a Usable Site

A website can be both attractive and easy to use. Usability and good looks aren't mutually exclusive and one doesn't necessarily have to negate the other.

SitePoint (2002). Design>Web Design>Usability>Case Studies


A Case Study of Context-Sensitive Web Application Help Using the WebHelp API

Discussion of the particular case of an interactive web design to create online user assistance for three distinct audiences: creative artists; Homebuilder sales staff; individual homeowners.

Daigle, John. HyperTexas (2003). Design>Web Design>Help


Case Study: Artorg Makeover

Artorg.co.uk is an online community for artists and designers. At first view, this is a really nice-looking site. It has an appealing, soft colour scheme offset with well-chosen graphics, and the content appears solid and orderly.

Hunt, Ben. Web Design From Scratch (2006). Design>Web Design>Redesign>Case Studies


Case Study: Business Improvement Network Redesign  (link broken)

The Business Improvement Network is a highly successful free club for quality improvement professionals who meet together to share their knowledge and experience. A busy website serves the network's needs well, attracts new members every week, and gives members access to lots of free information.

Hunt, Ben. Web Design From Scratch (2006). Design>Web Design>Redesign>Case Studies


Case Study: Conducting Large-Scale Multi-User User Tests on the United Kingdom Air Defence Command and Control System   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

IBM was contracted to provide a new Air Defence Command and Control (ADCC) system for the Royal Air Force. The IBM Human Factors (HF) team was responsible for the design of the operations room, workstations and the graphical user interfaces. Because the project was safety-related, IBM had to produce a safety case. One aspect of the safety case was a demonstration of the operational effectiveness of the new system. This paper is an in-depth case study of the user testing that was carried out to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system. Due to time constraints the HF team had to observe five participants working simultaneously. Further, to provide a realistic operational environment, up to twenty-eight operators were required for each test. The total effort for this activity was four person-years. The paper will detail the considerations, challenges and lessons learned in the creation and execution of these multi-user user tests.

Hey, Elliott. Journal of Usability Studies (2006). Articles>Usability>Web Design


Case Study: Foruse.com Redesign

www.foruse.com is the web site of Constantine and Lockwood. Have a look at their home page to learn more about them. This case study incorporates a brief critical review of the home page, plus a redesign.

Hunt, Ben. Web Design From Scratch (2005). Design>Web Design>Redesign>Case Studies


Case Study: Getting Hardboiled with CSS3 2D Transforms

In this example we’ll use CSS3 two-dimensional transforms to add realism to a row of hardboiled private detectives’ business cards.

Clarke, Andy. Typekit Blog (2011). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>CSS


Case Study: National Park Foundation Micro Site

Modernista! teamed up with FL2 to design and develop a micro site for the National Park Foundation that coincided with Modernista!’s broadcast campaign supporting the Ken Burns PBS documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The site provides a destination for users to explore the National Parks, make a personal contribution, and most importantly share it with others—reinforcing the sense of collective ownership, pride and responsibility of our National Parks System.

Brady, Tracy and Matt FaJohn. AIGA (2009). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>Case Studies


Case Study: NPR.org

NPR embarked on a major redesign of its web presence in April 2008. Its existing web platform and content management system (CMS) were outdated (it had been six years since our last redesign) and failed to provide the functionality for delivery of NPR’s signature storytelling and news reporting. This NPR.org redesign team consisted of roughly 30 people: designers, developers, project and product managers and editorial producers.

Neylan, Callie. AIGA (2009). Articles>Web Design>Case Studies


Casing the Competition

Welcome to the murky world of search engine optimization (SEO). Before you throw your hands up in frustration, I have good news for you: You can learn how to reverse-engineer your archrivals' tactics and join them at the top of the search results heap.

Spencer, Stephan. GotoMedia (2005). Design>Web Design>Search>Search Engine Optimization


Caught in the Web: An Intranet Adventure   (PDF)

As the World Wide Web rapidly evolves, as philosophies for designing online documents change, and as technologies grow ever more sophisticated the technical communicator is presented with many challenges. What are the most eflective methods for structuring, authoring and maintaining online documents? What are the best tools and formats to use for the construction of a documentation Web site? What kinds of technical decisions must the designer or writer make? HTML or PDF? GIF or JPEG? Can several text and graphics formats be combined into one seamless site? What about hypertext links - how many is too many? What is the best approach to building a prototype? Presenting it to users? Selling it to management? Many lessons can be learned before embarking on the journey. , .

Cluff, Susan C. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Web Design>Intranets


The Cautious Writer, 2005: Protect Your Income

I'm no expert on the economy, but I don’t see a lot of signs of growth and smiling faces in 2005. As writers, we are in the fortunate position of being able to protect ourselves against fluctuations in the economy, to some degree. To protect your own income over the next year, here are some suggestions.

Usborne, Nick. Excess Voice (2004). Articles>Web Design>Writing


Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions on Websites

Even small holiday decorations can increase joy of use and make websites feel more current and more connected to users' lives and physical environment. The key is to commemorate without detracting from your users' main reasons for visiting the site.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Articles>Web Design>Usability


A Center for Research in Technical Communication: Initial Ideas and Development for a Worldwide Network

The technical communication field lacks a place for on-line research in the historical, theoretical, and philosophical perspectives. For this reason, the idea of a Technical Communication Research Center was proposed as a way to help move the emphasis off of pedagogical and towards a more evenly balanced web site for technical communication research. Other sites are currently available for on-line research in technical communication, but not everything fits into the academic genre. We have found a market for a comprehensive research site in technical communication. The end product of TCRC will be devoted to both academics and professionals interested in both old and new research in their area of interest. Besides merely a research tool, the TCRC will also be a network for those working in the field. Through databases, email and periodical updates, the ultimate result of the end product is to connect technical communicators all over the world.

Arko, Kirsti, Leroy Steinbacher, John Velat and Dennis Walikainen. Michigan Tech University. Articles>Information Design>Web Design


The Challenges of Internet Users with Low or Limited Vision

Once or twice while surfing the Net, you may have felt your eyesight become blurred or find it hard to focus on the screen. This is normally not a problem as you can always rest for a while to regain your perfect vision. But try to imagine yourself having limited vision all the time. What do you think are the challenges you may face as you browse web pages? How can they be solved?

Babinszki, Tom. Even Grounds (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Visual


Challenging Current Practice

Is it better to have more items on a page and requiring fewer pages to be accessed (wide breadth), or to have fewer items per page and require more pages to be accessed (more depth)? Based primarily on studies reported three years ago by Larson and Czerwinski (1998) and Zaphiris and Mtei (1998), designers have been encouraged to construct broad, shallow sites.

Bailey, Robert. Human Factors International (2001). Design>Information Design>Web Design


Challenging the Status Quo: Audi Redesigned

In September 2000, Razorfish, Germany was tasked to redesign the main websites for Audi. In the process they explored workgroup software, utilized technology to support the brand ideals and challenged the status quo of current web navigation thinking by proposing a right handed navigation system.

Kalbach, James. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Web Design>Case Studies


Change the Color of Visited Links

People get lost and move in circles when websites use the same link color for visited and new destinations. To reduce navigational confusion, select different colors for the two types of links.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Design>Web Design>Usability>Color


Change the Constraint, Change the Guidelines

From a usability perspective are we letting inertia stop us from going and searching for the real new issues which constrain web sites from achieving their goal, or are we moving on, forgetting the last war, and actively out looking for that new constraint and seeking to write the new rules for a world where broadband is ubiquitous?

Anderson, David J. UIdesign (2004). Design>Web Design>Usability


Change Up Your Digital Writing

I was inspired today by an article on opensource.com about the pathetic state of web design and development education in secondary and post-secondary schools, which is itself a summary of a presentation (video) at Mozilla’s Drumbeat Festival by Anna Debenham, a young web developer in the UK. But rather than issue a series of what-she-saids regarding Ms. Debenham’s presentation, I’m writing a post that is a first attempt at a condensed whole-hog, no-baby-steps list of concrete moves and classes of technologies that I believe are essential to changing how you write and design digitally, by which I mean “for the Web.”

source.literacy (2010). Articles>Education>Web Design


Change vs. Stability in Web Usability Guidelines

A remarkable 80% of findings from the Web usability studies in the 1990s continue to hold today.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2007). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Standards


Changing Terminology: "User" versus "Customer"

The term "user" has also been critiqued because it obscures the fact that people use software and web sites in different ways. Sometimes the "user" is a customer, sometimes a contributor, sometimes an employee, sometimes a learner. In many cases, one of these words would be more accurate than the catch-all "user."

Ruby, Jennie. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2009). Articles>Web Design>Social Networking>User Centered Design


Character Entities in HTML and XHTML

This area includes a variety of references and tools such as: reference charts; important articles; and helpful tools.

Web Standards Project. Design>Web Design>Standards>HTML


Characteristics of Web Site Content

Web site content must be recrudescent, repositorial, refluent, and rectilinear. What? Here's an innovative treatment of the essential attributes of online text. Find out why great web site content generally has these 14 characteristics that start with a "R".

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2005). Articles>Web Design>Content Management>Usability



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