A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Works Published in 2006

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An index of all the works published in 2006.



Deconstructing the Mobile Web

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the mobile Web is largely overplayed hype--the clumsy extrapolation of the behavior and use of a basic set of interfaces from one environment to another incompatible one. As a result of this broken mental model of mobile computing, we are not taking advantage of the real potential this technology offers.

Knemeyer, Dirk. UXmatters (2006). Articles>Web Design>Mobile


Deduct Your STC Dues

Since you pay taxes in the United States, keep in mind that STC dues are tax deductible. Please note, however, that dues must be deducted from the tax return filed for the year in which they were paid. In other words, dues paid in 2005 may be deducted only from 2005 tax returns. Therefore, if you paid your 2006 dues on or before December 31, 2005, these dues can be deducted only from your 2005 return.

STC Phoenix (2006). Careers>TC>Financial


Default Mapping for Annotated XML Schema

The IBM DB2 Viper release brings many new XML-related (and non-XML) features. One such feature is the annotated XML schema decomposition that allows you to decompose their XML documents into relational tables. The annotated XML schema supports various mapping constructs that allow you to map elements/attributes defined in the XML schema to table-column pairs in the relational schema. For large XML schemas consisting of many XML schema documents, manual annotation can be a cumbersome task. Get an introduction to the tool, DefaultAnnotater, that allows you to create default mapping and a default relational schema into which corresponding XML documents can be decomposed. This article provides a good starting platform for not only trying out the new function, but also further enhancing the mapping in a given XML schema.

Pradhan, Mayank. IBM (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML


Review: Degunking Microsoft Office

Degunking Microsoft Office, by Christina Palaia and Wayne Palaia, addresses the problem of anything that slows down the computer, interferes with your operations, crashes applications, or loses data, and presents some ways of avoiding it.

Delwood, Robert. STC Houston (2006). Articles>Reviews>Software>Microsoft Word


Delegate or Suffocate: the Art of Working Through Others   (members only)

Management is delegation. Either learn to delegate or you will be buried in work that others could, and should, be doing. The more people that a manager can put to effective use, the greater the success of the manager. The more efficiently a manger can put people to work, the greater the success of the manager. As you learn to delegate effectively, your productivity and value to a corporation rise.

Egan, Brian Denis. Global Knowledge (2006). Articles>Management>Collaboration


Delivering Content with RSS for Web Developers

The delivery of web content is being revolutionized by a new technique known as syndication. The most common format for syndication is RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format for coordinating the delivery of time-based content streams, or 'feeds.' This means that RSS can be used to deliver content that changes over time. RSS provides for the inclusion of additional data, similar to email attachments, using the ENCLOSURE tag.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>XML>RSS


Deployment of the MobiLink Synchronization Model Wizard in SQL Anywhere 10

This builds on the previous article, 'MobiLink Synchronization Wizard in SQL Anywhere 10.' The new Deployment Wizard in SQL Anywhere Server 10.0 makes it painless to deploy the model, a task which was script based and terse.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. DevShed (2006). Articles>Computing>Databases>SQL


Depth of Field

Shows how to simulate a depth of field effect using a filter.

Kloskowski, Matt. Planet Photoshop (2006). Design>Graphic Design>Software>Adobe Photoshop


Design Like No-One's Watching

Web designers frequently suffer under the illusion that other people look at their web pages the way we do. This is wrong. Designers need to develop the skill of looking at their designs through naïve eyes.

Hunt, Ben. Web Design From Scratch (2006). Design>Web Design>User Centered Design


Design Process and Evaluation   (PDF)

There are several usability-related issues, methods, and procedures that require careful consideration when designing and developing Web sites. The most important of these are presented in this chapter, including 'up-front' issues such as setting clear and concise goals for a Web site, determining a correct and exhaustive set of user requirements, ensuring that the Web site meets user's expectations, setting usability goals, and providing useful content.

Usability.gov (2006). Design>Web Design>Usability


The Design Spectrum

'Design' encompasses a very wide spectrum of disciplines and applications, which address an enormous range of different problems. When designing a product, the techniques and priorities a designer should use change according to its purpose.

Hunt, Ben. Web Design From Scratch (2006). Design>Project Management>Methods


Design, Technology and Their Roles in Social Changes

Christina Li interviewd Nico Macdonald on aspects of design, technology and society. Nico offered his insights from his own experience of working in political compaign and design consultancies.

Li, Christina. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Technology>Design


A Designer's Guide to Prototyping Ajax

Jeffery Zeldman wrote earlier this year in his essay about Web 3.0 that 'Wireframing AJAX is a bitch.' And while I can't deny the statement, I do think there are steps we can take to alleviate the pain. The problem is static XHTML/CSS wireframes are woefully inefficient at the task of communicating and documenting the features available to the new crop of Ajax web sites. Because we've been working on a rather intense Ajax project for the last few months, we've been developing and refining a number of techniques and guidelines to help our team design for Ajax by moving beyond the traditional forms of functional specs and wireframes to something a bit more appropriate for the dynamic medium'rapid prototyping.

Hale, Kevin. Particletree (2006). Design>Web Design>Prototyping>Ajax


Designing a Software User Assistance System

This article looks at a methodology for developing a software user assistance (UA) system in a structured manner. The software UA system could have both paper-based user manuals and online help systems.

Ferris, Tamara. Indus (2006). Articles>Documentation>Online>Help


Designing an Effective Review Process   (PDF)

Review processes can easily become frustrating and complicated. Hart shows how to create and revive a review process that can be tailored to the needs of your situation.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Intercom (2006). Articles>Publishing>Editing>Workflow


Designing and Planning Modular Content Projects  (link broken)   (PDF)

Modular writing involves writing, labeling, storing, and assembling content modules. Read about how to design and plan a modular writing project and how this writing system affects traditional roles and responsibilities within a publications team.

O'Connor, Virginia. Intercom (2006). Articles>Content Management>Workflow


Designing Better Elections

After the 2000 election, Design for Democracy worked with election officials in Illinois, Oregon and Nevada to design ballots, polling place signage, registration forms and other election materials. The election design system establishes a visual style, use of color, and an approach to illustrating instructions that make the ballot and polling place more usable.

Scott, Josephine. Usability Professionals Association (2006). Articles>Usability>Forms>Politics


Designing Breakthrough Products: Going Where No User Has Gone Before

For UX designers, some of the most exciting projects to work on are new-to-the-world or breakthrough products that solve real problems people didn't even realize they had. Get them right and they may be hugely successful in the marketplace, but they're also the riskiest projects. While user-centered design (UCD) techniques can sometimes be valuable on new-product projects, more often, they don't seem to work particularly well when designing breakthrough products. Here are some lessons I've learned from my own work on new-product projects.

Olsen, George. UXmatters (2006). Design>User Interface


Designing for Bridge Experiences

The practice of user experience lacks the historical pedigree of many of its constituent elements, including human/computer interaction, library science, social-science research methods, product-development methodology, and, most of all, design. What it does enjoy, however, is a pragmatic, multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the intertwined social, economic, and technological forces it engages. It's a contingent amalgamation--an assembly of what works--and a set of perspectives and problem-solving techniques that define how we, as practitioners, think about creating products and services.

Grossman, Joel. UXmatters (2006). Articles>User Experience


Review: Designing for Interaction

Dan Saffer's Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices was an ambitious undertaking. In fewer than 300 pages, he has attempted to cover the history, current practice, and notions about the future of the rapidly evolving discipline of interaction design (IxD). Whether you are simply curious about interaction design, are entering the profession yourself, or are collaborating with an interaction designer, Designing for Interaction is a good place to start your journey down the road of interaction design.

Frishberg, Leo. UXmatters (2006). Articles>Reviews>Interaction Design


Designing for the "Average User"

User advocacy is one of the central goals of usability. User advocacy can be defined as the process an IT professional (with an interest in user experience) goes through in re-sensitizing herself to the world of the 'average user'.

Spillers, Frank. Demystifying Usability (2006). Articles>Usability>Web Design


Designing for the "Average User"

User advocacy is one of the central goals of usability. User advocacy can be defined as the process an IT professional (with an interest in user experience) goes through in re-sensitizing herself to the world of the "average user."

Spillers, Frank. Demystifying Usability (2006). Articles>Usability>User Centered Design


Review: Designing Interfaces

Over the past few years, I have come to appreciate the power patterns have as a shorthand that lets software engineers communicate their design intentions. Being able to discuss an Observer or Factory pattern with other engineers quickly moves the design discussion to more substantive concerns.

Frishberg, Leo. UXmatters (2006). Articles>Reviews>User Interface


Designing Speculative Household Cleaning

Aging in place is a high priority for today’s elderly population, but little is known about how age affects mundane domestic activities. To make older adult’s desire a reality, design researchers must continue to understand elders’ needs and design products that respond to them. Presented is a human-centered approach to designing cleaning products. The project resulted in: 1) an initial understanding how aging changes older adults’ ability to clean their homes and 2) a collection of speculative cleaning products that demonstrate how greater empathy for elderly users can motivate innovative design.

Wyche, Susan P. AIGA (2006). Articles>User Experience>Usability>Elderly


Designing the Mobile User Experience

Today, we're trying to understand how mobile devices--and by extension the mobile Web--can fit into and even enhance our day-to-day lives. As we do so, we should endeavor to avoid the mistakes we made before we understood the opportunity inherent in the Web.

Cecil, Richard F. UXmatters (2006). Design>Web Design>Mobile>Mobile