A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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1.
#19223

Accessing Maths and Stats by Other Means  (link broken)

Historically, it has been the work of talented individuals to produce solutions for those with a variety of disabilities who are working and studying in the field of Mathematics and Statistics. Reading graphs from a screen or paper when blind is a challenge, and coping with complex statistics causes many dyslexic students to blanch. However, there are ways of managing independently and it is often through the use of assistive technology that problems are solved and equal access is maintained.

Draffan, E.A. TechDis (2001). Articles>Accessibility>Statistics

2.
#21060

Bimodal Distributions Contain Clues

One of the most unusual aspects of data about people and nature is its uneven distribution. Explore the non-normal distribution called bimodal distribution.

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2001). Design>Web Design>Statistics>Log Analysis

3.
#20861

Browser Usage Statistics

Statistics on browser popularity, as of December 1996.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1996). Design>Web Design>Statistics>Web Browsers

4.
#13479

The Career Survey Scope, Design, and Implications for Training and Education   (PDF)

How do technical writers develop professionally after they graduate from college? To find the answer we developed a technical communication career survey between March and July, 1992, and polled members of STC. This panel discusses career development theory, the results of our survey and the reactions of actual technical writers who completed the survey.

Philbin, Alice I. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>TC>Statistics

5.
#35924

Five Fundamental Website Design Principles

There are lots of approaches to website design. Other designers may legitimately find much to disagree with in this short list, or have items to add (please!). But these are the over-arching principles I try to adhere to in designing sites. At least they’re the ones I can think of right now.

Gulick, Ray. Social Web School (2009). Articles>Web Design>Statistics>User Centered Design

6.
#22485

Guide to Effective Formatting

This guide supplements work instruction PR2-W3 - Document Formatting. It gives a detailed outline of the recommended document formatting standards for reports. You should use the standard Word template, which has been configured to conform with these guidelines.

Tuffley, David. Griffith University (2000). Resources>Style Guides>Statistics>Reports

7.
#30059

How the Web Works

A short essay about what one can and can't discern from webserver log file analysis, which involves a tutorial on how HTTP requests operate.

Analog (2004). Articles>Web Design>Statistics>Log Analysis

8.
#13269

ISO 9000:2000; What Does It Mean to Technical Communicators?  (link broken)   (PDF)

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working on the revision of the ISO 9000 series of Quality Management Standards over the past few years, and a draft document is currently being reviewed by interested parties around the world.

Robinson, Ralph E. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Workplace>Statistics>ISO 9000

9.
#38700

Learn R with Twotorials

If you want to learn methods, techniques, or technologies that are outside your usual scholarly ambit, then you often have to learn them in small sections as you find time. That’s why I was glad to learn about R Twotorials. R, according to the R Project’s website, “is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.” It’s a programming language useful for analyzing data and creating graphics, especially if you’re using statistical methods.* It’s also the language that Matthew Jockers suggests you learn if you’re interested in digital humanities.

Mullen, Lincoln. Prof Hacker (2013). Articles>Statistics>Software

10.
#14358

Lies, Damned Lies, and Web Statistics   (PDF)

Interpreting web statistics has been described as “trying to nail Jell-o to the wall.” Web log files trackfile accesses on the server. They do not track users; they do not track interest levels, they do not track success or failure communicating information. Caches “hide” site accesses from the server log and “hits” provide a poor mea sure of interest in particular content. Some people argue that there is really no meaning to server logs other than a measure of server load. However, even with all their flaws, some find web statistics useful in identifying how best to allocate resources in web site development.

Mazur, Beth. STC Proceedings (1997). Presentations>Web Design>Statistics>Log Analysis

11.
#29333

The Median Isn't the Message

Many people make an unfortunate and invalid separation between heart and mind, or feeling and intellect. In some contemporary traditions, abetted by attitudes stereotypically centered on Southern California, feelings are exalted as more "real" and the only proper basis for action -- if it feels good, do it -- while intellect gets short shrift as a hang-up of outmoded elitism.

Gould, Stephen Jay. Edward Tufte. Articles>Scientific Communication>Statistics>Biomedical

12.
#27707

Microsoft Drops the Office Open Standard Ball

When Microsoft announced a week ago Monday that it had decided to open up its Office 12 XML file formats and had submitted the formats to be considered as a formal open standard by ECMA International, Alan Yates, the general manager of Microsoft's Information Worker Strategy, said, 'The new license that will accompany the Open XML format with the standards organization will go well beyond traditional standards licensing and will be very positive for the vast majority of developers, even open-source developers.' But. The only difference between Microsoft's November 2003 open and royalty-free license for the Office 2003 Reference Schemas and today's Office 2003 license, according to the company, is that 'Microsoft is offering a covenant not to sue for the Office 2003 Reference Schemas.'

Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. eWeek (2005). Articles>Word Processing>Statistics>Microsoft Word

13.
#26057

One Cannot Live by Salary Alone

Once our profession is known outside IT, the scope for technical writers will grow in geometric proportions. Clearly, there are good times ahead.

Kamath, Gurudutt R. Indus (2005). Careers>Salaries>Statistics

14.
#19316

The Perils Of Measurement

Most 'usability' practitioners quite rightly put great emphasis on the ease with which sample users can complete pre-selected tasks. After all, it makes sense to ensure that common tasks, identified after research into user needs, should be completed as efficiently as possible. It is when this 'efficiency' is measured that problems can begin.

Farrell, Tom. Frontend Infocentre (2001). Articles>Usability>Statistics

15.
#29090

The Peter Effect in Early Experimental Education Research   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

One of the signatures of scientific writing is its ability to present the claims of science as if they were "untouched by human hands." In the early years of experimental education, researchers achieved this by adopting a citational practice that led to the sedimentation of their cardinal method, the analysis of variance, and their standard for statistical significance, 0.05. This essentially divorces their statistical framework from its historical conditions of production. Researchers suppressed their own agency through the use of passive voice and nominalization. With their own agency out of the way, they imbued the methods, results, and presentational devices themselves with the active agency of the situation through the use of personification. Such a depiction creates the impression that the researchers and audience stand on equal epistemic ground as interested witnesses to the autonomous activity of a third party, the method, which churns out the brute facts of science.

Little, Joseph. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2003). Articles>Research>Statistics>Education

16.
#33802

Release of Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) Standards Version 1.0

From a business perspective, SDMX offers governmental and other organizations a standard for modelling and exchanging aggregated statistical data which is not domain-specific, and which supports the use of existing metadata vocabularies for statistical concepts. Formats are primarily designed around time-series views of data, but cross-sectional views are also supported. Several large-scale implementations are already planned.

Gregory, Arofan. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Statistics>XML

17.
#23877

Results of the Usability SIG Member Survey

The first Usability SIG survey was conducted in 1996. I thought that 2003 was an ideal opportunity to survey our members again. Due to cost constraints, the survey was only available for 30 days. Of the 1600 members, 85 responded to the survey. That might be considered a low response, but statistics show that a response rate of over 5% is considered good. Yes, we read every reply. The Usability SIG team reviewed the results and have a strategy to make improvements. The following are samples of the responses received.

Dick, David J. Usability Interface (2003). Articles>Usability>Statistics>STC

18.
#36505

SPSS: Statistics for the Mathematically Challenged

Many people enjoy behavioural research, whether it's running a usability test, fielding a survey or observing people doing their jobs. Finding things out and making new discoveries excites our natural human curiosity. But when faced with the task of analysing the data behind the research, many people feel their excitement drain away. So how can you overcome a fear of maths to learn how to use statistics?

Viki, Tendayi. UserFocus (2008). Articles>Usability>Statistics>Research

19.
#21118

Statistically Analyzing Success Rates in Web Usability Testing: The Cochran's Q Test

The Cochran's Q Test can be used to statistically analyze success rate data. It can be used even when only a small number of users are tested. This provides some indication that a vast amount of usability data can, and should be statistically analyzed

Griffith, Jamie. WebWord (2001). Articles>Web Design>Statistics>Usability

20.
#21325

Statistics for Traffic Referred by Search Engines and Navigation Directories to Useit

The following table shows the number of visits that have been recorded in the Useit server logs as coming from search engines and directory services (so-called 'portals') in a one-month period (March) in each of the years from 1998 through 2003.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2003). Design>Web Design>Statistics>Log Analysis

21.
#29071

Understanding Statistical Significance: A Conceptual History   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Few concepts in the social sciences have wielded more discriminatory power over the status of knowledge claims than that of statistical significance. Currently operationalized as a = 0.05, statistical significance frequently separates publishable from nonpublishable research, renewable from nonrenewable grants, and, in the eyes of many, experimental success from failure. If literacy is envisioned as a sort of competence in a set of social and intellectual practices, then scientific literacy must encompass the realization that this cardinal arbiter of social scientific knowledge was not born out of an immanent logic of mathematics but socially constructed and reconstructed in response to sociohistoric conditions.

Little, Joseph. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2001). Articles>Research>Statistics>History

22.
#22381

User Performance Metrics

Thirty user performance metrics for informal usability evaluations.

Bohmann, Kristoffer. Bohmann Usability (2000). Articles>Usability>Statistics

23.
#30098

The Web Design Survey   (PDF)

Between April 24th and May 22nd, 2007, A List Apart conducted the first survey of 'people who make websites'; 32,831 web professionals participated. Straightforward survey responses are summarized. Detailed findings, derived by cross-referencing various data, make up the remainder and bulk of this report, and constitute its chief claim to significance.

List Apart, A (2007). Careers>Web Design>Statistics>Surveys

24.
#21400

Web Traffic Analytics and User Experience

As a specialist in the user, you gain knowledge through observation and direct questioning of individual users. Now, you can add to that insights gained from data pulled during their actions on the site. By looking at this information, you will get a fuller picture of user behavior, not in a lab, but in the true user environment.

Diamond, Fran. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Web Design>Statistics>Log Analysis

25.
#27791

Why a Completion Rate is Better with a Confidence Interval

Confidence intervals have been lauded by the APA (American Psychological Association) as the preferred technique when presenting data for any size sample, and this has been echoed in the usability literature as well.

Sauro, Jeff. Usability Professionals Association (2006). Articles>Usability>Statistics>Methods

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