Tech-Comm Blogroll

I've just published a blog post on the Google Geo Developers Blog, about a new design for the Google Maps API tutorials. I'd love some feedback from technical writers. If you have a few minutes, would you head on over there and let us know what you think?


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Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and part of me has never left; there's something about the landscape that just feels right and I don't find it here in Southern Ontario. I came across a Flickr photostream by twurdeman that has some of the best pictures of the Sault and Northern Ontario that I've seen. Do have a look – you won't regret it.

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Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

By Janet M. Six

This is the 100th edition of Ask UXmatters! I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to discuss many interesting topics—ranging from my inaugural column “Choosing the Language for a User Interface,” in November 2008, to “Fundamental Principles of Great UX Design,” to “Making the World a Better Place Through User Experience.” It is an honor to work with our esteemed expert panelists and bring this column to you. We look forward to collaborating on many more great columns!

For this centennial edition of Ask UXmatters, I asked our expert panel to tell me about [...]

Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

By Amelia Wong

A chatbot is an application that can simulate having a conversation with a human being. There are two types of chatbots:

Rule-based chatbots—These chatbots are only as smart as their developers have programmed them to be, their capabilities are limited, and using them can be frustrating. Chatbots that use artificial intelligence (AI)—These chatbots actually understand human language—not just commands—and they continually become smarter as they learn from the people who interact with them.

At the Fast Co. Festival in November 2016, chatbots reigned supreme. Chatbots and [...]

Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

By Cassandra Naji

Designers have now been building mobile forms for a decade. But, as technology continues to go through metamorphoses and our understanding of users’ needs becomes more refined, good mobile form design is constantly evolving. In this article, I’ll provide eight best practices for mobile form design circa 2017.

Mobile form design presents specific challenges that have, historically, made it difficult for user-interface designers to keep general design best practices top of mind. Challenging factors that pose potential obstacles to creating usable mobile forms include the following:

the constrained screen real estate on a [...]
Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

By Jon Walter

When people visit your Web site, there’s a good chance they’ll give you only 15 seconds of their time. They want what they want, when they want it, with as little effort as possible. Getting their sustained attention is a victory. Mobile readers especially have come to expect casual flirtations with online content that delivers instant gratification. Don’t burden these experts in multitasking by making them tap or click your content. If your content requires too much effort to consume, people won’t read it. They’re easily distracted, and their attention spans are shorter [...]

Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

By Q Manning

There’s no question that users will abandon any Web site or mobile app they don’t enjoy using. User experience is a key determinant of success or failure. Yet 73 percent of industry executives see user experience as one of the toughest challenges they face. Even well-funded sites and apps can fail to gain adoption without a good, user-focused design.

Some aspects of creating a quality user experience are obvious. For example, if users can’t figure out how to use your site, chances are high they’ll abandon your offering and look elsewhere. Likewise, the [...]

Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Recently, it occurred to me that I'm not nearly as much of a genius as I used to think I was. This is not done with a great deal of sadness, merely a pragmatic realization (one of my father's favorite … Continue reading → [...]
Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source
stethoscope

What if DITA could lead to better care for people with cancer? This case study shows how Scriptorium and easyDITA worked with the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) to help give doctors faster, more targeted access to cancer staging information. This week, Scriptorium and easyDITA are joining the AJCC at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual healthcare IT conference as guest exhibitors.

Content interoperability: Using APIs to connect the Cancer Staging Manual to health information systems

Prepared by Jorsek LLC/easyDITA and Scriptorium Publishing

Abstract

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has historically delivered its Cancer Staging Manual as [...]

Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

Hotjar, see how your visitors are really using your site. Try it free.

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Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

The first Vancouver Island Tech Comm Café of 2017 was held January 19. The small group of technical writers, aspiring technical writers, and our invited guest met at the The Next Sushi in Victoria's Cook St. Village.

Our guest for the evening was Olga Romanova, the Human Resources manager at Reliable Controls. Olga had kindly agreed to join us and provide insight into the Victoria tech writing scene from the point of view of an IT hiring manager.

We kicked off the evening with a quick round of introductions. A very pleasant surprise was the presence of a former president of the [...]

Mon, Feb 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source

This entry is being posted on behalf of Craig Baehr, candidate for Vice President in the 2017 STC election. More information about Craig can be found on his STC election page.

My name is Craig Baehr and I am running for the position of Vice President. I joined STC in 2000 and have been involved in many STC initiatives and communities. I have served as Chief Examiner of the Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) Program, Chair of the Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TCBOK) Project, Program Director of the Academic SIG, Faculty Advisor of the Texas Tech University Student [...]

Sun, Feb 19, 2017, Continue reading at the source
This has been a “geek week” for me. Since Thursday I've been at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) doing on-site reporting for Spaceflight Insider the latest Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) launch to the International Space Station (ISS), CRS-10. What I'm doing … Continue reading → [...]
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, Continue reading at the source

This entry is being posted on behalf of Jamie Gillenwater, candidate for Nominating Committee in the 2017 STC election. More information about Jamie can be found on her STC election page.

Dear STC Member,

I am asking for your vote for the STC Nominating Committee.

If elected to the Nominating Committee, I understand the future of the Society is shaped by my diligence and candidate recommendations. STC has been a cornerstone for the technical communications industry, and under solid leadership can continue as such for decades to come. I have built a solid network of technical communication leaders over the past seven [...]

Sat, Feb 18, 2017, Continue reading at the source
I spoke at, and attended, the Content Strategy Applied 2017 conference last week. One of the keynote speakers, James Mathewson, provided a fascinating description of how IBM uses audience intent modelling to map its content plans. By doing this IBM is able to align its content with the buying cycles for their target personas. This planning …

Continue reading "How IBM uses audience intent modelling"

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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Crossing the Divide between Technical Communication and Content Strategy at Datomia Technical communicators have many of the skills that overlap with content strategists, but they can find it hard to get involved in this type of strategic work. In this presentation, we'll explore some of the content projects Cherryleaf been asked to do for Datomia, …

Continue reading "Here are my slides from Content Strategy Applied 17"

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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, Continue reading at the source
I spoke at, and attended, the Content Strategy Applied 2017 conference last week. One of the keynote speakers, Madi Weland Solomon, explored what the impact of content has on users, and the trends that will inform content strategy in the near future. She said one of the key challenges for organisations will be dealing with the loss …

Continue reading "Technical writing builds trust in your organisation"

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Fri, Feb 17, 2017, Continue reading at the source

This entry is being posted on behalf of Jane Wilson, candidate for Vice President in the 2017 STC election. More information about Jane can be found on her STC election page.

Hello STC Members –

My name is Jane Wilson, and I am honored and excited to be on the 2017 STC slate as a candidate for Vice President.

Recently, I was asked why I volunteer for the STC. I joined the Society in 2003, when I was working in Atlanta as a lone writer. STC offered a source of expertise, and a community of people with similar experience and questions – [...]

Fri, Feb 17, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Two new versions. Simple unique. Experience the two completely redesigned user interfaces of FCT TIM 4.1 and FrameMaker for a more comfortable working method with regard to authoring and publishing. Both the TIM 4.1 editorial system by fct and the Adobe FrameMaker (2017 release) shine in new splendor. Take benefit from a better user guidance and work more […] [...]
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, Continue reading at the source

I had a recent comment on a post I wrote nearly ten years ago. The post actually earned me a bit of notoriety in the MadCap community. For many years after writing that post, people would see me at an industry conference and say, “Oh, you're the guy who wrote The Six Things I Hate About Flare.” I would quickly correct them, telling them I was very careful at the time to not use the word hate. In fact, right after my actual post entitled “Six Persistent Flare Problems,” I quickly published a post on six things I [...]

Thu, Feb 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source

Picture this ideal scenario: your enterprise organization has teams who write content, manage, and publish using a largely automated workflow. They do so through tight integration with the Adobe Technical Communications Suite (Adobe TCS) to help teams create content, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) to (as the name implies) manage content, and Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server (2017) to create every type of output customers need. If your organization already taps into the power of Adobe TCS, you know how the ideal becomes a reality. If not, read on for an eye-opening introduction to writing content once and delivering it [...]

Thu, Feb 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source

From April 2-5, technical communication professionals from all over the world will gather at MadWorld 2017 in San Diego for a learning and networking experience like no other. The premiere technical communication and content strategy conference gives attendees the chance …

The post MadWorld 2017 Speaker Series Q&A: Jacob Moses, Technical Writer, Rainmaker Digital appeared first on MadBlog: The Official Blog of MadCap Software.

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Thu, Feb 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source

Conferences have a way of blending together, like some hazy montage from a movie you've probably long forgotten. Drifting from room to room, with the same companions, with the same oversaturated looks on their faces indicative of people who have just eaten too much and now want a nap (only here the food is knowledge).

That's why I'm excited that we're partnered this year with the 2017 IA Summit. (And it includes a discount code at the bottom of this article!) One of their goals this year is to make the attendee experience more diverse and more engaging. By [...]

Thu, Feb 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source
I've been at this blogging thing for nearly six years now, and I still find new topics to write about. I consider that a reflection of the times in which we live and of the dynamic nature of this profession. … Continue reading → [...]
Thu, Feb 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Turkish assassination

The winners of the 2016 World Press Photo Contest have been announced. As always, there's some striking photography here – some of it beautiful, some of it inspiring, and some of it depressing. The Atlantic has a selection of some of the winners, which might be easier to view than the official contest site.I am hardly surprised at the choice for overall winner – a photo of the assassin of Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, on December 19, 2016.

The travelling exhibition usually comes to Brookfield Place [...]

Wed, Feb 15, 2017, Continue reading at the source

The STC Canada West Coast chapter has conducted its first online salary survey.

Over half of the chapter membership participated in the survey, which was a joint venture between the Canada West Coast and the Toronto chapters.

Detailed results were sent to all Canada West Coast and Toronto chapter members in early December.

This survey is the first Canadian salary survey of STC members. Currently, Canadians are not included in the salary survey released annually by the STC head office, which is based on US Labor Department statistics.

“We decided it was time for some of the Canadian chapters to take the initiative,” said [...]

Wed, Feb 15, 2017, Continue reading at the source
This is a small recap to my webinar with Adobe in November 2016. There I explained how to manage different layouts with the same content. In this blog post, I want to summarize the main parts of this event and bring up some more facts. For those of you who like the webinar format, the […] [...]
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, Continue reading at the source

For my Aussie readers: If you're having a problem with your Telstra landline, you can enter your postcode into this site (http://servicestatus.telstra.com/) and get a status update. There are three ‘buttons' at the top of the screen — current interruptions/maintenance, scheduled maintenance, and completed maintenance. The service they're referring to is landline voice calls ONLY, not ADSL internet.

And why did I find this out? Each of the three calls I made at various times today and to various numbers gave me a message that the ‘service to the telecoms network I was calling was temporarily congested, and please [...]

Wed, Feb 15, 2017, Continue reading at the source
I recently presented to the STC Twin Cities chapter on User-centered Design Principles for Organizing Documentation. When organizing your documentation, such as arranging navigation titles, workflows, or other wayfinding features, you can apply universal design principles to make your content more user centered. Some of these principles include Modularity, Hierarchy, Five hat racks, and Progressive disclosure. These design principles, based on solid user research from design gurus, will help users better find and navigate your help content. You can view the recording and audio from the event here. [...]
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, Continue reading at the source
About This Collaboration Meeting

This is an all-hands meeting to discuss upcoming events, welcome all volunteers, and review the work that needs to be done to keep our chapter moving forward in serving our community of writers.

If you want to out what's happening, have some ideas you'd like to share, or would like to know what volunteer opportunities are available, please join us. Your input is very important to us.

Who Should Attend?

All chapter members, volunteers, and non-member volunteers are welcome. This is a great way to network and work with other technical communication professionals.

Date: Saturday, February 18, 2017

Time: 10:00 am to [...]

Wed, Feb 15, 2017, Continue reading at the source