A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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25-Point Website Usability Checklist  (link broken)

Four major components are covered in this checklist: accessibility, identity, navigation and content. The list is a printable PDF and contains a rating system and space for comments.

User Effect (2009). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Workflow


After the CMS Implementation Project

Much effort is focused, on the selection and subsequent implementation of a content management system (CMS). While it is obviously vital to ensure that the initial implementation project is successful, this is only the beginning of an ongoing commitment to growing and enhancing the use of content management throughout the organisation.

Robertson, James. CM Briefing (2004). Articles>Content Management>Project Management>Workflow


Agile for Information Development

Software development methods seem to change more often than the seasons, and just when information development professionals are familiar with one approach a new one comes along. One method that has received wide acceptance and seems to have some staying power, however, is the Agile software development method. As described by the Agile Manifesto (2001), Agile software development is: a group of software development methodologies; based on iterative and incremental development; solutions evolve through collaboration of cross-functional teams.

Clymer, Laura. Indus (2013). Articles>Project Management>Workflow>Agile


An Agile Review Process for Technical Documentation  (link broken)

Documentation teams need a fast and effective review process to move forward on their projects and deliver quality, timely content. Reviewers, may they be SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) or key organization authorities, are usually extremely busy and have limited time (or interest) to review documentation. Interesting dilemma, no?

Talbot, Fabrice. LiveTechDocs (2008). Articles>Documentation>Agile>Workflow


Applying Software Development Methodology to Developing Help Systems  (link broken)   (PDF)

Help systems have become an important part of the Technical Communicator’s repertoire. If we as communicators approach developing help systems in the same way we approach writing paper documentation, we miss the advantages of using software development methodology.

Nurczyk, Susan V. STC Proceedings (1997). Presentations>Documentation>Workflow


Audience Profile Sheet   (Word)

A form for coding users' interaction with a written document.

Markel, Mike. Bedford-St. Martin's (2001). Design>Usability>Workflow


Automate Your Publishing  (link broken)

Discusses the strategic importance of XML, illustrating it with an application they built to address the growing needs of the DaimlerChrysler MOPAR division. Mr. Haslam will share with you the challenges they faced and how they were solved as well as provide the metrics being used to validate the project's success.

Haslam, David. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Workflow>XML


Betriebswirtschaftliche Lüsungen zur Kostensenkung Technischer Dokumentation  (link broken)

Die meisten TD-Verantwortlichen besitzen einen technischen Hintergrund. Daher verwundert es nicht, dass sie Lösungen für Kostenprobleme ebenfalls in der Technik suchen: Datenbanken, Content Management oder Translation Memory. Doch die Investitionskosten sind hoch. Und oft dauert es Jahre, bis sich entsprechende Systeme amortisieren – wenn überhaupt. Ein Betriebswirtschaftler würde das Problem anders lösen: ohne Technik und ohne Investition, durch gezieltes Setzen von Prioritäten und mit optimierten Prozessen. Bewährte Ansätze aus der Betriebswirtschaft gibt es viele, denn andere Unternehmensbereiche leiden unter genau denselben Kostenproblemen. Dieser Beitrag zeigt die wichtigsten Methoden und gibt Beispiele für deren Anwendung in der Technischen Dokumentation.

Achtelig, Marc. indoition engineering (2006). (German) Articles>Management>Project Management>Workflow


Brainstorming and Storyboarding

The whole idea of “brainstorming” is to get ideas on paper. No particular order or structure, just get them ideas down. All you need is a quiet room, a clock, and pencil and paper. The procedure is simple: think about the subject and write down every idea that pops into your head within a set time.

Tech-Writer. Articles>Writing>Workflow


Building a Project Site

Managing a Web site project typically does not follow any clearly defined methods or standards of practice. Although there is a lot of 'how to build a site' information out there, very little on how to manage a Web project actually exists. But a project site could be just the answer you are looking for.

Leonard-Wilkinson, Theresa A. W-edge Design (2001). Design>Project Management>Web Design>Workflow


Building Efficient Multilingual Workflows   (PDF)   (members only)

O’Keefe gives detailed information on two technology standards that may be used in multilingual workflows: XSL and XLIFF.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. Intercom (2009). Articles>Content Management>Workflow>Translation


Building with Rusted Nails

We can compare web design and development to the process of building a house or a structure. The development of every web site has a process that these craftsmen must follow in order to achieve the finished structure. These phases are generalized and somewhat vague at times, while some may even be grouped or varied in name, but they are all essential steps in each web construction.

Finck, Nick and Peter Fielding. Digital Web Magazine (2001). Design>Web Design>Workflow


Business Cases for Tech Comm Access to Dev Info

Make a business case. Business is not a game. It’s not personal. Stakes are too high, especially in this day and age. Developers in your organization may not be aware of all the issues that writers address, or what the impact of writer exclusion might be. I’ve included some thoughts below about points that could perhaps be made.

Norris, Julie. 2moro Docs (2010). Articles>TC>Business Case>Workflow


Calling for Backup

Writers, of course, seldom find themselves in life-and-death situations. However, the way in which a writing project is managed can often mean the difference between a project’s failure and success. For writers managing a project, obtaining backup consists of two issues: making sure someone can continue your work if something prevents you from doing so yourself; and knowing how to get help when you can’t keep your head above water.

Holland, Anton. Writer's Block (1995). Articles>Writing>Workflow


Centralized versus Distributed Organizational Structures  (link broken)   (PDF)

The nature of a corporation and its product line(s) influences the optimal structure for your information-development organization. When lines of business are unrelated, information-development organizations may best function independently; when lines of business are interrelated, the groups need a unified strategy. While favored by product developers and business leaders, distributed structures can produce inconsistent information quality to customers. Centralized organizations can meet customer needs, but they are often perceived as focusing on publication quality rather than content. The best solution may be a hybrid structure that takes advantage of the strengths of both.

Hackos, JoAnn T. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Information Design>Workflow


Client Questionnaire  (link broken)   (PDF)

Following are questions and issues that should be covered during early meetings with a client, including general project questions, questions specific to documentation, and questions regarding scheduling, reviews and administrative issues. Thanks to TECHWR-Ler Judy Fraser for providing this awesome summary.

Fraser, Judy. TECHWR-L. Resources>Workplace>Workflow


Commenting on PDF Comments

If your response to the question 'How do you use Acrobat comments?' is a mumbled 'No comment,' then listen up. Comments and annotations are some of the most powerful ways in which Acrobat can streamline your creative workflow. Here are some tips.

Dennis, Anita. Creative Pro (2003). Design>Document Design>Workflow>Adobe Acrobat


Content Lifecycle: Closing the Loop in Content Strategy

The process of publishing content, particularly when it includes content destined for the web, continues to be a mysterious process for corporate stakeholders, and sometimes for those involved in the process of publishing.

Bailie, Rahel Anne. Johnny Holland (2010). Articles>Content Management>Content Strategy>Workflow


Creative Brief   (Word)

A template to provide a brief description of the project. It should outline the objectives, audience, and assumptions for the project and details the creative concept the team intends to use moving forward. This document should accompany the materials for the Conceptual Design Review. Information should be filled in to give an overview to project reviewers who may not be intimately involved in the project. Differs from project overview in that this is specific background information related to design constraints, concerns and other information directly relating to the solution presented for review. The Creative Brief can also be used to inform outside firms about a project when brought in for consulting.

Malone, Erin. AIfIA (2003). Resources>Project Management>Workflow


Data Collection in the Palm of your Hand: A Case Study

Mobile computing devices, which are commonly known as either personal digital assistants (PDA) or personal information managers (PIM), are an emerging technology that has the potential to be very useful in specific areas of computing.  One area in which mobile computing devices are gaining favor is in data collection, especially in places where larger computers are impractical.  While the use of these devices as a data collection tool is not a new idea (see Drury, 1987), it has been a bit slow to take off.  However, recent advances in this area of technology have allowed the gap in functionality between mobile computing devices and personal computers to be closed to such an extent that these devices may be considered to be as functional in many ways as a laptop or palmtop computer for collecting data.  In fact, the conversion of paper and pencil forms such as surveys, questionnaires, and assessments to these devices may be considered a next logical step in the use of mobile computing devices.

Spain, Kelly and Chad Phipps. Usability News (2000). Articles>Usability>Workflow>PDA


Datensicherung und Archivierung

Many computer users ignore the risk of data loss - until it is th late: Imporant Data have vanished. Who then desperately seeks advice in any of my mailing lists might get my try answer: "Simply restore from your last backup." OK, I do confess: This might contribute to a nervous break down. So better be prepared!

von Obert, Alexander. Techwriter.de (2003). (German) Articles>Computing>Workflow>Security


Design Criticism and the Creative Process

At a project’s start, the possibilities are endless. That clean slate is both lovely and terrifying. As designers, we begin by filling space with temporary messes and uncertain experiments. We make a thousand tiny decisions quickly, trying to shape a message that will resonate with our audience. Then in the middle of a flow, we must stop and share our unfinished work with colleagues or clients. This typical halt in the creative process begs the question: What does the critique do for the design and the rest of the project? Do critiques really help and are they necessary? If so, how do we use this feedback to improve our creative output?

McDaniel, Cassie. List Apart, A (2011). Articles>Collaboration>Workflow


Design Review Checksheets   (PDF)

Useful checksheets with questions for consideration by the design team and reviewers when reviewing work at different stages of the process. There is a checksheet for Concept review, UI/interaction design review and Visual design review. Has space indicated for approvals and signature sign off by selected approvers. These sheets are great for tracking the progress and making sure key people approve and sign off on each step.

Malone, Erin. AIfIA (2003). Resources>Project Management>Workflow


Design Review Process   (Word)

A template to capture the dates in the Design Review Process and key milestones and stakeholders.

Malone, Erin. AIfIA (2003). Resources>Project Management>Workflow


Design Scope   (Word)

The Design Scope template should outline the general aims and goals of the project design and lists the major deliverables and milestones. To be completed by the experience design team lead.

Malone, Erin. AIfIA (2003). Resources>Project Management>Workflow



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