A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

STC

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The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is an international professional society for the advancement of the theory and practice of technical communication. It has hundreds of local chapters (also known as 'communities.'

 

1.
#37160

A Monumental Day Dawns for Technical Communicators: Certification!

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) announced today that certification for the technical communication field has been approved. Within the next year, technical communicators will be able to attain certification in their profession.

STC (2010). Articles>Certification>TC>STC

2.
#20114

The ABC's of SGML/HTML: Understanding the Concept of CALS and SGML   (PDF)

Many technical communicators have heard about Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistic Support (CALS), or Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), but some do not understand the concept. This paper introduces CALS, the relationship between CALS and SGML, the structure of SGML, and how SGML affects technical communicators.

Perry, Lynn A. STC Proceedings (1996). Articles>Information Design>SGML

3.
#10008

Academic Programs Database

A website to find both undergraduate and graduate academic programs in technical communication in the U.S. and Canada.

STC. Academic>Programs

4.
#26208

Academic Training for Independent Contractors and Consultants   (PDF)

We need academic, along with, professional training, defining 'academic training' as conceptual and theoretical, future-oriented and speculative.

Farkas, David K. STC Orange County (1998). Presentations>Education>Consulting

5.
#20270

Academic/Industry Relationships   (PDF)

Technical Communication educators and professionals share one important concern: the future. The most important way in which both parties can shape the future is by working together to support the future technical communications community: students. STC’s Academic Industry Committee has developed a faculty internship to support direct connections between the faculty members who prepare student technical communicators and the companies who will employ them. These and other Academic Industry Committee projects are designed to bring the best of two groups working in one valuable goal and profession more closely and cooperatively together. The future depends on our work – together.

Fink, Bonnie L., Roger A. Grice, Sandra Harner, Deborah Rosenquist and Katherine E. Staples. STC Proceedings (1998). Careers>Collaboration>Industry and Academy

6.
#13100

The Academy/Industry Binary: The Effect of Distance Education on the Debate   (PDF)

The academy/industry debate usually centers on whether instruction should be education-based or experience-based, and on whether instructors should have more academic or industrial experience. Distance education can change both of these debates, lessening the difference between the workplace and the academy. The academy can be relocated within the workplace through dedicated classrooms and online courses performed on workplace computers, and by making classes asynchronous so that practitioners can fit them into their structured schedules. The debate over instructor training is changed because of the additional industry-based expertise needed to produce a distance education class and because distance education technology facilitates participation of practitioners.

Eaton, Angela. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Education>Industry and Academy

7.
#19263

Accessibility Meets Usability: A Plea for a Paramount and Concurrent User-Centered Design Approach to Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility for All   (PDF)

This paper identifies challenges for a user–centered design process with respect to infusing accessible design practices into electronic and information technology product development. Initially, it emphasizes that when user–centered design is paramount and concurrent with accessible design, electronic and information technology can be accessible for all. Next, it provides an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 508. Last, it provides basic accessible design heuristics that can be integrated into the design process. It concludes with recommendations for a paramount and concurrent user–centered design approach to product development.

Reece, Gloria A. STC Proceedings (2002). Articles>User Centered Design>Accessibility>Usability

8.
#29733

Accessibility or Design Integrity   (PDF)

This paper presents two sides of a debate over user-controlled text sizing of Web-based documents, and a suggested approach for designing Web sites that support full use of user-controlled text sizing, while maintaining the integrity of a site’s visual design.

Payne, John and Phil Oye. STC Proceedings (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility

9.
#30589

The Accidental Beginning of a Highly Successful Special Interest Group (SIG)   (PDF)

SIGs exist to serve specialized needs within the greater organization. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Professional Interest Committees (PICs) are a tool by which the local chapters can serve a diverse range of special interests, boosting chapter membership. The Lone Star Chapter (Dallas/Fort Worth) began hosting SIG meetings three years ago. Currently, with four active SIGs, we are hosting an additional 100 to 200 members per month. This is how we built our SIGs to promote membership in STC. In the spring of 1990, a group of disgruntled contractors began to meet formally to discuss dissatisfaction with insurance plans for independents available through the society. We had been meeting informally for many years, to discuss the job market, rates available, and generally to gossip. We call it networking. personal contact or the sudden ice storm we had that night attendance was down significantly. From that point, we have kept a mailing list updated from our sign-in sheets, and sent postcard reminders about each meeting.

Steele, Karen A. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Collaboration>Case Studies>STC

10.
#11798

Accommodating Color Blindness

An estimated nine to twelve percent of the male population suffers from some form of color vision deficiency, commonly called 'color blindness.' It is important for computer interface designers to take into account and eliminate, if possible, any potential confusions that can arise because of color vision deficiencies. There are two major types of color blindness. The most prevalent causes are confusion between red and green. This type affects approximately eight to ten percent of the male population. In another type, an additional one to two Percent of men suffer from a deficiency in perceiving blue/yellow differences. Less than one percent of women suffer from any form of color blindness. To understand color blindness better, it is helpful to be familiar with the ways in which colors differ from each other. One standard way to discuss color is to divide it into hue, saturation and brightness (HSB).

Hoffman, Paul. STC Usability SIG (1999). Design>Accessibility>Human Computer Interaction>Color

11.
#37808

Achieving Consistency among Editors

I manage a group of editors at a software company. This topic describes how we strive to achieve consistency in editing software documentation among a group of editors both within a department and across divisions in a large company. We have a staff of 14 editors that serve five large writing departments. Our editors are excellent grammarians before they come to SAS, but they also get considerable training and mentoring in SAS specific guidelines when they join our staff. I acknowledge that it’s impossible to achieve 100% consistency across all editors, but consistency is worth striving for for several reasons.

Moell, Patricia G. STC Technical Editing SIG (2010). Articles>Editing>Collaboration>Technical Editing

12.
#29736

Adaptive Technologies and Techniques for People with Vision Problems   (PDF)

Talk with Gloria Reece, a senior member of STC’s AccessAbility SIG who can help you understand vision problems and the technologies that exist to make information accessible. Get practical advice for implementing new technologies in your workplace.

Reece, Gloria A. STC Proceedings (2004). Articles>Accessibility>Visual>Workplace

13.
#29737

Add a Touch of Drama   (PDF)

Several similarities exist between writing technical documentation and writing dramatic scripts. Technical writers who also write drama find they become much more aware of audience, differentiate more easily between 'need to know' information and 'nice to know' details, and better anticipate reader actions and reactions.

Blicq, Ronald S. STC Proceedings (2004). Articles>TC

14.
#18647

Adding to Your Tool Box

You've applied and interviewed for a position, but you don't get it because you don't have a particular skill set that the employer needs. You want to learn a new tool, but the software is expensive and you can't afford to spend a lot of money on software at this time. Do either of these scenarios sound familiar to you? If they do, you have some options for learning new tools and can add to your portfolio at the same time.This article looks at the options that you have for learning software -- teaching yourself, taking classes, volunteering, and on-the-job training.

Puffer, Paula. STC Northeast Ohio (2001). Articles>Education>Software>Volunteering

15.
#24852

Administration of an Electronic Classroom   (PDF)

The electronic classroom in the Oklahoma State University English Department is now a little over a year old. In the three semesters we've been using it, a number of administrative challenges have surfaced. Some of those challenges were easily overcome, but others have been consistent dilemmas with no clear solution in sight. The day-to-day administrative issues in operating the facility center on issues of access and maintenance and repair. This article will focus on some of the major challenges with the intention of pointing out potential problems that may occur as other writing programs establish similar electronic teaching facilities.

Turner, John R. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Education>Online

16.
#23595

Administrative Decisions in Online Graduate Education   (PDF)

Much of the discussion about online education appropriately focuses on pedagogy and technology. Any planning for online education must consider teaching methods and the technology to support them as well as the appropriateness of these methods and technology for the students and course materials. However, administrative decisions also influence the success of the course or degree program. This paper reviews these issues based on the experience of Texas Tech University in five years of offering an online Master of Arts in Technical Communication. Issues include course concept, costs, administrative authority within the university, and student selection and retention. The paper looks briefly at legal issues and at the concern about impersonality in online education.

Rude, Carolyn D. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>Education>Graduate

17.
#20273

Adobe Acrobat: Publishing Online Documentation   (PDF)

Documentation departments are often faced with the challenge of quickly distributing high-quality versions of printed documentation via the company Intranet, the World Wide Web, or CD-ROM. Adobe Acrobat is a simple, cost-effective way to publish documentation for a variety of media and requires little time or technical expertise to produce professional-looking results. Technical writers and web developers can easily use Adobe Acrobat to create portable document format (PDF) files from printed documentation. They can then add links and bookmarks, create an index, produce simple interactive forms, and add multimedia components to their documents.

Ogata, Kerry L. and Thomas A. Witherspoon. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Documentation>Online>Adobe Acrobat

18.
#35082

Adopting Documentation Usability Techniques to Alleviate Cognitive Friction

Usability is the combination of effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which the users accomplish defined goals in a given environment. User-centered documentation matches the users' mental model, thereby helping the users find information they want quickly and easily in their hour of need. The list of documentation usability criteria is fairly subjective at this time, and various opinionated discussion groups have contributed to this. Usable documentation is based on a deep understanding of the users' tasks, and this understanding can only be gained through interviewing representative users. Applying information architecture techniques, the content within documentation should be properly chunked so that the users can assimilate the information properly. Procedural guides should have a well-defined and searchable index that enables users to connect key application terms to their correct context. User-friendly documentation is always succinct, but never at the expense of omitting critical/useful information. It should be developed using a structured process so that it starts with the big picture and gradually adds lower level of details, addressing the needs of every unique group of users. Finally, the documentation must be tested among a representative group of users, and their feedback should be incorporated to make sure that it has met all of the major usability criteria.

Biswas, Debarshi Gupta and Suranjana Dasgupta. STC Usability SIG (2009). Articles>Usability>User Experience>Documentation

19.
#18221

Advanced Issues in Usability: A Progression   (PDF)

In this progression, respected usability specialists will moderate tables on subjects of interest to colleagues who have been working in the usability field for some time. These topics will focus on usability test design, data analysis and presentation, and marketing of data. Attendees should plan to contribute their own experiences. This progression addresses the frequently expressed request by Usability PIC members for more sessions on advanced topics in usability.

Wilson, Chauncey E. and Stephanie L. Rosenbaum. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Usability

20.
#18220

Advanced Issues in Usability: Balancing User Preference and Performance Data Collection   (PDF)

The purpose of this paper is to provide a little background on my position for the progression on usability issues. I’ll present what measures I typically collect, and the differences between performance and preference data. Having this as a starting place may help us to have a useful progression discussion.

Rauch, Thyra L. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Usability>Methods

21.
#19956

Advanced Toolkit for Experienced Technical Communicators: Using a User-Centered Design Process to Overcome Challenges in Implementing a User-Centered Design Process   (PDF)

Technical writers have known for years that a good explanation for a bad software interface may be better than nothing, but that it’s not as good as a usable software interface. With ‘usability' gaining greater visibility, this is a good time to implement a usercentered design process. This article looks at ways that the approach and techniques of such a process can be applied to the task of introducing a new process.

Quesenbery, Whitney. STC Proceedings (2001). Design>User Centered Design>Usability

22.
#20160

Advanced Usability Topics   (PDF)

An increasing number of STC members now have usability programs as part of their job responsibilities, although they’re not always full-time usability specialists. Many STC members have been performing usability activities for several years.

Rosenbaum, Stephanie L. and Lori K. Anschuetz. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Usability

23.
#13468

Age Discrimination in Technical Communication   (PDF)

Age discrimination in the workplace occurs any time one worker is treated differently from another due to age, or another worker's beliefs about age-related inabilities. Solving the problem of age discrimination in the workplace involves three things: understanding the problem and how it affects the way we work, educating ourselves and the rest of the general working public about age discrimination, and finding specific ways to address and overcome the issue.

Steele, Karen A. and Linda I. Bell. STC Proceedings (1993). Careers>Advice>Discrimination>Workplace

24.
#30143

Analysis of Virtual Classroom Environments: Survey of Classroom Dynamics in RSVP Courses   (PDF)

Students can earn Master's degrees or continuing education certificates by at tending courses offered live satellite or compressed video or on videotape for delayed viewing. This panel discussion evaluates the effects of the various forms of technology and modes of interaction on the classroom dynamics in a live satellite class offered by Rensselaer Polytechnic institute (RPI).

Brunner, Kirsten, Roger A. Grice, David F: Hans, Teresa L. Hood and Leo J. Smith. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Education>Online

25.
#20113

Analyzing Documents to Understand Tags   (PDF)

SGML is a language for describing the structure of a document. The language involves using a system of tags for elements of a document. Document analysis is the process of discovering the elements of a document and understanding how the parts work together to form the document.

Coggin, William O. STC Proceedings (1996). Articles>Information Design>SGML

 
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