Category: Columns

Developing the Required Talent, Part 1: Personal Training

By Geoff Hart | Fellow This column focuses on the principles of information design, the art and science of understanding how humans process and comprehend information, and using that knowledge to develop more effective ways to communicate. Please send comments and suggestions to ghart@videotron.ca. Over the past five years, I've somehow managed to neglect two important topics in my information design columns: how to develop the talent required to apply the theoretical information I've provided in your daily work, and how a similar approach can help your audience acquire expertise in areas that they consider important. In the workshops I… Read the rest

Don’t Turn a (Color) Blind Eye

By Linda Roberts | Senior Member This column shares information about accessibility requirements and techniques, and introduces standards and policies that might affect your products. If you have feedback, contact Linda Roberts at lerober1@yahoo.com. As I was catching up on the tweets from the STC AccessAbility SIG (@staccess), I came across a retweet that said, “Spread the awareness for colour blindness. Numbers don't lie.” This tweet had a link to the following pie chart. The chart made me smile. With simplicity, it brought the message home that when you are building a website or graphic, you should not forget about… Read the rest

Stop, Breathe, Think

By Jack Molisani | Fellow This column addresses job hunting and career advancement, focusing on various aspects of career growth. It's written from the perspective of someone who has been a technical writer, technical communication manager, and recruiter, and who worked as a captive (full-time) employee and an independent contractor before finally starting his own company. If you have questions or suggestions for a future column, email them to jack@prospringstaffing.com with ”Career Question” in the Subject line. In Florida a few years ago, I decided to learn how to scuba dive. My instructor led me through the required pool drills… Read the rest

What’s Accessible for Some Is Better for All

By Brian Still | Member 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 brian.still@ttu.edu. What would we have done without the mouse? First integrated by Telefunken with its TR440 computer in 1970, then followed in 1981 by Xerox's own version, it really came into popularity with the advent of Apple's Macintosh that same decade. Rarely… Read the rest