Category: April 2012

Mark Your Calendars

1. 14-17 April The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) will hold its Performance Improvement Conference at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada. For more information, contact: ISPI +1 (301) 587-8570 2. 17-19 April The American Society for Indexing (ASI) will be holding its annual conference at the Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, TX. For more information, contact: ASI 3. 3-6 May The Council of Science Editors (CSE) will hold its annual meeting, “Communicate Science Effectively: The World Depends On It!,” at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. For more information, contact: CSE… Read the rest

Witful Thinking: Signs of Progress

by Geoff Hart | Fellow Critics claim there’s been little progress in the past decade, and that what we’re doing today is no different from what we used to do. As a technological optimist, I disagree. Here are some symptoms that the lives of technical communicators have improved, both quantitatively and qualitatively: Acronyms: Years of research have demonstrated the value of reducing word counts. In this age of TMI (too much information), even the IT (in trouble*) department is getting more ROI (return on investment) from their TLAs (three-letter acronyms), FAQs (frequently asked questions), and PnPs (policies and procedures). The… Read the rest

FYI: Mark Your Calendar

Organization events across the globe F.Y.I. lists information about nonprofit ventures only. Please send information to 1.  18–23 April The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) will hold its Performance Improvement Conference at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For more information, contact: ISPI +1 (301) 587-8570 2.  19–21 April The American Society for Indexing (ASI) will be holding its annual conference at the Bahia Resort in San Diego, CA. For more information, contact: ASI 3.  22–23 April* The Rochester Chapter of STC hosts Spectrum 2012, Expertise, Knowledge, Leadership: Influence Change in Your Organization,… Read the rest

Trends in Usability:<br/>Usability for Mobile Devices: An Issue of Information Design

By Brian Still This column examines the ways technical communicators contribute to the development of more usable products, especially those used in complex, dynamic environments. Novel usability evaluation methods and design techniques, as well as those rediscovered or repurposed, will be the focus. Please send your comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to me at Recently at work for a client, I was tasked with testing an already live medical reference application. The user population was made up of a variety of clinicians, including physicians and nurse practitioners. The reference was tested in two environments: the smart phone… Read the rest

The Strategic IA:<br/>Mobile: The Crucible for Information Strategy

By Andrea Ames| Fellow and Alyson Riley | Member with special guest contributor Deirdre Longo This column explores the strategic aspects of information architecture and the tools to equip information architects (IAs) for success. Topics will address the business, strategy, user experience, and implementation of strategic information architecture, including organizational, content management, and tactical considerations. Send your comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to Many information architects (IAs) are feeling the heat of mobile, of needing to integrate mobile into product and information user experiences. Mobile is a crucible—the pressure and constraints of the environment force IAs to… Read the rest

Exhibitor Directory

Editor’s Note: This directory includes committed exhibitors as of 9 April. For updated information, visit 4.ST—HelpServerBooth Number: 207Technologielaan 21-b1B-3001 Leuven, Belgium+32 16 40 40 54Fax: +32 16 40 50 50marketing@helpserver.eu HelpServer is a Web- and server-based team authoring platform, which provides a secured desktop-like collaboration environment. Authors work together in true real time using a Word-like editor. All content is stored as XML in a database that resides on a server, and can easily be published to the web or exported to files. Adobe Systems, Inc. Booth Number: 103345 Park AvenueSan Jose, CA 95110-2704+1 (408) 536-6000Fax: +1 (408) 537-6000techcomm@adobe.com… Read the rest

Summit Side Trips: Live Events in Chicago

By Linda Kelley | Senior Member One huge benefit of visiting a city like Chicago is the access to a large variety of sporting and cultural events. The following are some of the things that are going on in the Chicago area the week of the Summit. Sports Are you a baseball fan? Among other home games, the Cubs are playing the White Sox right before the Summit at Wrigley field. And soccer fans can catch the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Chicago Cubs games at Wrigley Field: 16 and 17 May vs. Phillies 18, 19, and 20 May vs.… Read the rest

Special Sessions at the Summit

In addition to the regular education sessions—the presentations, the workshops, and the progressions—STC also offers a few special sessions to round out your Summit experience. Project Showcase This session allow presenters to share their projects with groups of attendees as they walk from table to table. These small groups and discussions will allow technical communicators to share their experiences and project solutions. The Project Showcase takes place on Tuesday, 22 May, from 1:00–2:00 PM. Participants follow. Improving Large-Scale Retailer’s Intranet via a Content Audit Challenge: Audit 60,000 intranet pages with 300+ associated owners to identify content appropriate for an improved… Read the rest

Specialized Learning Begins Even Before the STC Summit

The Technical Communication Summit, STC’s 59th Annual Conference, offers extraordinary opportunities for in-depth exploration of hot topics in technical communication. The certificate courses, held just prior to the Summit, continue to be extremely popular with attendees. Combined with the variety of learning experiences offered by the regular conference education sessions, the certificate programs give technical communicators the knowledge they need to stay on top of trends in a constantly evolving profession. Workshops are another, shorter, preconference learning opportunity, with four courses to choose from. View details of the titles and content of certificate programs and workshops and register online at… Read the rest