A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Privacy is especially difficult to define because it means different things to different people. Each of us has our own privacy needs. Women often have different privacy concerns than men; asking a 9-year-old child his age over the Net has different privacy implications from asking the same question of a middle-aged adult. A question that may not be seen as violating our privacy in one situation could have that appearance in another.

Coyle, Karen. Karen Coyle (1999). Presentations>Information Design>Privacy


Procedures Writing Training in a Corporate Environment   (PDF)

In a corporate procedures writing program staff members of a financial company wrote procedures documenting their everyday work. Because these staff members were not trained in technical writing, a twostage training process was developed. The writing would be done by the in-house staff; in this case, financial analysts and accountants, referred to as SME writers. These staff members were required to document their everyday functions but had no professional training in writing; training, therefore, was a prerequisite to ensuring a successful writing program.

Perelli, Elizabeth T. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>Documentation>Collaboration


Process Maps   (PDF)

A poster-sized map showing the steps and deliverables through the UI/IA/UX project lifecycle. Maps various activities and deliverables against project roles and indicates major milestones. Excellent resource for educating clients (internal and external) about 'the process' and what to expect at each phase of the cycle. Two different 'takes' on the process are available for downloading.

Malone, Erin. AIfIA (2003). Design>Presentations>Posters>Workflow


A Process Model For Creating Accessible End-User Documents   (PDF)

Electronic information products can be made accessible to blind and low-vision individuals. This is easier to accomplish with thorough planning and execution. This paper describes a five-step model for creating accessible documentation. The steps are (1) Preparing a source file (2) Producing accessible output, (3) Testing output for accessibility, (4) Modifying a source file if needed, and (5) Modifying a production process if absolutely necessary.

Herring, Richard D. STC Proceedings (2005). Presentations>Documentation>Writing>Technical Writing


Processes, Roles, and Regulations: (Re)defining What Technical Communicators Do   (PDF)

Understanding how you work (process) and understanding what you do (roles) are two important aspects of a successful documentation group that works within a regulated environment. These items will help writers produce better documentation and provide a way to better define (or redefine) their roles in the development process.

Rupel, Roberta A. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>TC>Policies and Procedures>Regulation


Produce Effects Without Effects

As the number of effects increases, custom animations rapidly become unwieldy. An alternative technique consists in using one slide per effect, thus simplifying the process. The addition of slide transitions ensures that entrance or exit effects are maintained. The drawbacks of creating effects without effects - a large number of slides- are compensated by two key advantages: simplicity, and direct access to any part of a slide composed of many effects, not just its beginning.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Document Design>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Producing Site-Specific Training Materials: How Technical Communicators Can Increase Job Security   (PDF)

According to the SCANS report, '80 percent of the workers on whom American employers will depend as we enter the 21st century are already on the job.' Onsite employee training and retraining must become a major focus for American companies. Technical communicators can develop site-specific training materials for their employers, but they will need to 'speak another language' in order to communicate the potential savings and benefits to management. Technical communicators who produce site-specific training materials can increase their job security by increasing their employer's ability to compete.

Wietelman, Sherry S. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>Documentation>Writing


Program Revision and Assessment

Four presentations about program assessment and the revisions to programs that they suggest.

Eble, Michelle F., Ann S. Jennings, Janice Tovey and Sherry Southard. CPTSC (2005). Presentations>Education>Assessment


Program Revision and Assessment II   (peer-reviewed)

Four presentations about exigences that are leading to change and innovation in technical communication academic programs.

Smith Taylor, Summer, Karen Kuralt, Elizabeth Pass and Wanda L. Worley. CPTSC (2005). Presentations>Education>Assessment


Programmatic Roles in Research, Professional Development, and Ethical Responsibility

Four presentations about the roles of programs in the professional, ethical, and research roles of its students and faculty.

Farkas, David K., Jennifer L. Bowie, Kenneth T. Rainey and W.J. Williamson. CPTSC (2005). Presentations>Education>Professionalism


Project Management and the Technical Communicator

Describes how project management can help technical communication professionals better plan and manage their technical documentation projects.

McCormick, Greg. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Project Management>Documentation>Collaboration


A Project Manager's Survival Guide to Going Agile   (members only)

When software development project teams move to Agile methodologies, they often leave project managers behind. Traditionally trained project managers are confused as to what their new roles and responsibilities should be in an environment that no longer needs them to make stand-alone decisions. This presentation focuses on re-defining the job of project manager to better fit the self-managed team environment, one of the core Agile principles. Special emphasis is placed on the shift to servant leadership, with its focus on facilitation and collaboration. Mapping of PMBOK knowledge areas to Agile practices is discussed at length. After reading this paper, project managers should have a better understanding of what changes they need to make professionally, and how to make these changes in order to survive the transition to an Agile software development approach.

Sliger, Michele. Rally Software Development (2006). Presentations>Project Management>Agile


Providing Mentor Opportunities for Students and Professionals   (PDF)

Mentorships provide an opportunity for students and new professionals to increase their career awareness by interacting with experienced technical communicators. STC chapters can develop mentor programs that facilitate this important professional development activity.

Stertzbach, Lori A. STC Proceedings (1995). Presentations>Management>Mentoring


Publish Your Own eBooks with FOSS Tools

The notes for a presentation on using free and Open Source tools for publishing ebooks (in EPUB format), which was given at FSOSS 2011 on October 28, 2011.

Nesbitt, Scott. SlideShare (2011). Presentations>Publishing>Open Source>Writing


PubsTrac: A Project Management Simulator   (PDF)

The PubsTrac simulator is a new tool for teaching project management in a technical publishing context. It takes the form of a board game in which one or more people each manage one or more projects. Each project must progress through the many steps that make up a typical technical publication development project, and must deal with such problems as bad reviews, product redesigns, sick employees, and resource overloads. In this workshop, participants will actually experience PubsTrac in small groups.

Caernarven-Smith, Patricia and Anthony H. Firman. STC Proceedings (1995). Presentations>Education>Project Management


Pushing Your Limits (and Other Secrets of Designing with CSS)

What do you do when you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall? When it seems your creativity is limited by how much CSS you know how to beat into submission? How do you resist the temptation to give it all up and go back to tables? Why does it feel like the pros are constantly inventing new techniques each week, when you’re still struggling to keep up with the stuff you read about last year? Understanding how and where CSS fits into the design process is key to knowing how to push your own limits. Reviewing the principles of existing techniques — and learning why or how they came about — can extend your capabilities and help you gain confidence in solving future problems on your own.

Bowman, Douglas. Stop Design (2004). Presentations>Web Design>Standards>CSS


Putting Large Documents Online   (PDF)

Large documents are among the most suitable documents for online viewing. This paper will look at the process of converting large printed documents to online documents. It will discuss the role of hypertext, SGML, and other technologies in their creation, This paper will then look at the process of designing large online documents from the traditional analyses of audience, task, and information to implementation concerns such as determining the design requirements, evaluating electronic publishing software and prototyping the design.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>Web Design


Putting the Science into Technical and Scientific Communication Classes   (PDF)

Although programs and courses frequently are titled “technical and scientific communication, ” often the scientific part is shifted to the science classes many students are required to take. All technical communication students, but especially those who are targeting a career in scientific communication, should be made aware of scientific principles and practices that apply to technical communication. Educators might add information about technical proposals, empirical research reports, regulations, basic abbreviations and definitions of statistics, research methods used in the sciences, and the scientific style described in style manuals to the materials they regularly teach.

Porter, Lynnette R. STC Proceedings (1995). Presentations>Education>Scientific Communication


Quality Basics: What You Need to Know to Get Started   (PDF)

Quality can be an intimidating topic for many technical communicators. Quality is rarely covered in technical communication courses. Most technical communicators do not have access to a Quality guru to help them understand the concepts and available options. Because of this, many technical communicators avoid using Quality concepts that could help improve their documents.

Atkinson, Jennifer M., Donald S. Lenk, Amy Perry, Ralph E. Robinson and Roberta A. Rupel. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>TC>Assessment


Quality Management And Quality Information Products: Developing An Effective Methodology For Quality-Driven User Documentation   (PDF)

Developing a methodology for creating user documentation involves the following phases: analyze need, plan, define requirements, design, construct, test, implement, and maintain. In addition to moving through these phases while creating the methodology, you must include each of these standard phases as a major section in the methodology. This paper describes how the Documentation and Training Center of Excellence used the standard project methodology phases to create and implement a methodology which tied closely to the phases.

Smittle, Linda S. and Robert C. Vestal. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>Documentation>Methods


Quality Management: Fire Fighting to Fire Prevention   (PDF)

Discover how a development team is transitioning from fighting to preventing fires by incorporating Quality Assurance (QA) testing as an ongoing part of the development process, rather than saving it for the finished product. Understand the pain of testing and rework at the end of the cycle, as well as the struggles during the transition to up-front QA. How did tools and processes change? What does the team have planned for the future? Learn by example how you, too, can make this transition in your company and start PREVENTING fires, not FIGHTING them.

Downs, Christina M. STC Proceedings (1999). Presentations>Management>Assessment


Rapid, Low-Fidelity Prototyping   (PDF)

In this paper we discuss our experiences using low-fidelity prototyping as a design tool. We describe three efforts that made use of rapid, low-fidelity prototyping and share some of the lessons we learned in doing so. All three of the efforts involve the design of real software products though the prototyping involved different aspects of the software (brand new GUI or new function added to an existing GUI) or the online help information supporting the software.

Jorgensen, Linda B. and Peter D. Pagerey. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Software>Methods


The Rapport Management Model: How Physicians Build Relationships with Patients   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Building relationships is a central concern for professionals (e.g., physicians, engineers, sales representatives, managers, etc.) because relationships promote a client’s trust and loyalty. Rapport is a concept used to describe relationship quality and has two facets: enjoyable interactions and personal connection [1]. Prior research has described the communication strategies of leaders for building better relationships with their subordinates [2] and sales representatives with their customers [3] by borrowing concepts from rapport management in sociolinguistics. The goal of this paper is to extend that work by demonstrating how rapport management applies to interaction between physicians and patients. The Rapport Management Model helps us explain how professionals succeed or fail to build relationships with clients based on their verbal communication behavior.

Campbell, Kim Sydow. IEEE International Professional Communication Conference Proceedings (2005). Presentations>Business Communication



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