A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Globalizing Garmin: Finding the Way and Other Points

Stay flexible. Maintain vendor relationships. Avoid proprietary lock-ins. Maintain ratio of writers/engineers. Stay focused on deliverables. Shift job descriptions and work responsibilities.

Arnold, Larry W. STC Proceedings (2008). Presentations>Language>Localization>Case Studies


Good Design in PowerPoint

Effective PowerPoint design can be an invaluable tool for delivering your team’s message. When teams know their design options and adhere to a few simple guidelines, they can capitalize on the possibilities for communicating complex ideas in a clear, accessible, and memorable format.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Usability>Visual Rhetoric


A Good Speech is Like a Good Relationship: 20 Tips for Presentation Success!

Contrary to what many people think, a speech is not a performance. Rather, it's a relationship -- ideally a meaningful one -- that you create with a group of people. Like any good relationship, a speech requires caring, trust, openness, accessibility, and two-way communication.

Burton Nelson, Mariah. Expert Magazine (2002). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric


Graphic Design   (PowerPoint)

A primary technique to achieve improved user-interface is clear, distinct, consistent visible language.

Deshpande, Shashank. STC India (2003). Presentations>Graphic Design>User Interface


The Graphic Design of Text: A Review of Research   (PDF)

Technical communicators can make reading easier by using type-design principles proven to enhance reading performance. This paper, based on the author’s master’s thesis of the same name, revealed research related to the graphic design of text and concluded that further research is needed to measure the impact of typography on readers (expert, intermediate, and novice) and the ways in which they read (to do, to read to learn, to read to assess, and to read to learn to do).

Matis, David W. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Typography>Graphic Design


Guide for Team Presentations

This guide explains how to combine individual efforts for a successful team presentation.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Collaboration


Guided Web Tours: Developing Comfort from a Distance   (PDF)

You’ve just created a new Web-based business application, or perhaps you’ve redesigned an existing one. You need to introduce users to the site and help them become familiar and comfortable with the new organization and navigational techniques. They need the information quickly and concisely. What do you do? You give ‘em a guided Web tour….

Currie, Cynthia C. and Michael T. Yarter. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Usability


Guidelines for Accessible Web Site: Technology and Users   (PDF)

Accessible design goes beyond accommodating the mentally or physically impaired. With new technologies and greater global access, accessible design now includes technological as well as user considerations.

Ward, Michele, Philip Rubens and Sherry Southard. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Accessibility>Web Design


Have Demo, Will Travel: Presenting Demos Outside the Studio

When I was asked to write about the process in which I show demos of my company’s work, I initially thought of what I used several years ago to show clients my samples—a time when DVDs didn't even exist and my home office setup was not such that I could do demos effectively there. Those were days when I had to travel to a meeting with a VCR deck, a tube-style TV, a bunch of cables, a cart to carry everything on, and, of course, VHS tapes, all properly rewound to the correct starting points.

Levy, Marshall. Event DV (2008). Articles>Presentations>Multimedia>Video


Hazard Communication 101 for Technical Writers   (PDF)

Hazard communication should help protect users of products, and by doing so, should help protect manufacturers from litigation. Writers of user documentation need to understand some basic product liability legal concepts, such as: duty to warn, open and obvious doctrine, hidden hazard, andforeseeable misuse. The communication aspect of hazard communication considers issues such as visibility, over-warning, and testing effectiveness. For guidance in writing warnings, there is a current standard which proscribes these elements: safety alert symbol, signal word, hazard, avoidance, and consequence. This paper ends with a list of resources for further study.

Manning, Michael D. STC Proceedings (1997). Presentations>Communication>Risk Communication


Health and Safety Information for Specialized Vocational Audiences   (PDF)

Using examples from commercial fishing and farming, this article shows how models of health beliefs and risk communication can inform the creation of health and safety materials and campaigns for specialized vocational audiences. These models state that risk communication efforts must balance strong statements of risk with equally strong statements of ways to reduce or avoid risk if they are to motivate change. Audience research can help communicators address attitudes that impair workers’ perceptions of risk, as well as workplace practices, norms, and conditions that the limit the methods that can be used to reduce risk.

Freeman, Krisandra S. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Communication>Scientific Communication>Risk Communication


Helping New Writers Through Their First Year   (PDF)

Are you afraid to hire an entry-level writer? Are you asking yourself questions like: Will an entry-level writer take up too much of my time? Will she be able to work independently? Will she succeed in this organization? Is a new writer worth the risk?

Von Haas, Elaina E. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Management>Mentoring>Writing


HFI Certification: Fulfilling Your Needs as a Practitioner

Usability is more and more critical to online success, but most developers have no formal training in it and most companies have no formal program for it.

Schaffer, Eric M. and Phil Goddard. Human Factors International (2006). Presentations>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


Holding the Center

If you look through a poster session at a scientific conference, I’ll bet over 98% of their titles are centered at the top of their posters. Why? There is no advantage in reading. Most word processors and other publishing programs start with text left aligned by default, which implies that people deliberately center the text all the time.

Better Posters (2009). Design>Presentations>Document Design>Typography


Holistic Customer Experience

With products and services quickly becoming commoditized, price differentiation is no longer a sustainable model. Customers are demanding more from businesses. Businesses that have increased their investment in the customer experience over the past three years report higher customer referral rates and greater customer satisfaction. Customers turn into advocates. Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.

Finck, Nick. NickFinck.com (2009). Presentations>User Experience>User Centered Design


Honey, I Shrunk The Manual   (PDF)

The writers at Software Publishing Corporation faced the challenge of reducing the page count of their manuals by more than 50%—without sacrificing quality, extending the schedule, or starting from scratch! They found that approaching this daunting task from several different directions at the same time proved to be the most effective. While the following tips apply primarily to DOS and Windows software manuals, the tips are a good starting point for streamlining any documentation set. The benefits include cutting dollars from the per unit cost of goods and promoting greater customer acceptance of documentation as a learning tool.

Repel, Timothy R. and Jennie Tan. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>Documentation>Methods


How Did the Special Needs Committee Get Started?   (PDF)

A member of STC’s Special Needs Committee describes the history and goals of the Committee.

Hanigan, Mark. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>TC>History


How DITA Changed the Tech Comm Landscape

Before DITA, we told readers how things worked. After DITA, we tell users how to use things. Before, we wrote information linearly. After, we write individual units as needed.

SDI Global Solutions (2009). Presentations>TC>XML>DITA


How Does E-Commerce Work?   (PDF)

This paper explains what e-commerce is and the two different types of e-commerce. The advantages of e-commerce are covered along with the steps needed to setup e-commerce. The different forms of advertising over the internet is covered next. How internet security works is covered in detail including the use of digital certificates and SSL (secure sockets layer). The processing of payments over the internet is the last subject covered including the different ways to pay and how credit card transactions are processed.

Wokosin, Linda. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Information Design


How Much Documentation is Enough?   (PDF)

Examines the need for defining the scope of documentation projects up front, and provides strategies for implementing a zero-based scoping approach.

Dhanagopal, Kumar. STC India (2010). Presentations>Information Design>Content Strategy>Documentation


How Much Technical Knowledge Do Editors Need? The Authors’ Perspective   (PDF)

Technical communication professionals and educators often discuss how much technical training editors need to effectively perform their job: however, their authors’ opinions are seldom considered. Thus, I designed a survey to gauge the authors’ perceptions of how much technical knowledge editors need and how this technical knowledge affects the editorial process. The survey results indicate that most authors think technical editors should have some technical background, but this background does not have to be in any particular subject. In addition, most authors believe that this technical background improves the editorial process.

Roper, Donna G. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>Editing


How PowerPoint is Killing Critical Thought

Bored students is the least of it – the bullet point-ization of information is making us stupid and irresponsible.

Smith, Andrew. Guardian, The (2015). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric>Microsoft PowerPoint


How Slides and Transparencies Stack Up to Micro and Ultraportables

Microportable and ultraportable projectors are changing how Corporate America presents information, sells products and trains employees and customers. Small enough to fit in a brief case, light enough to carry from appointment to appointment and easy enough to use without extensive training, these projectors deliver big, brilliant video, graphic and data images that are sure to grab and hold the attention of audiences.

Presenters University (2003). Articles>Presentations>Technology>Microsoft PowerPoint


How Tellabs Uses XML

In the evolving and demanding world of telecommunications, Tellabs supports telecom service providers with the design, development, and deployment of wireline, wireless , and cable solutions worldwide. But with each unique solution deployment requires knowledge transfer from engineers to field service staff to ensure a smooth system upgrade. Learn how Tellabs' New Product Introduction group used DITA to transition to customer-centric writing. *What are the key things the organization as a whole should keep in mind regarding processes?"

Insight24 (2008). Presentations>Information Design>Case Studies>XML



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