Category: November 2011

Mark Your Calendar

Organization events across the globe F.Y.I. lists information about nonprofit ventures only. Please send information to intercom@stc.org. 1 17–22 Nov The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) will hold its 2011 Annual Convention, “Reading the Past, Writing the Future,” in Chicago, IL. For more information, contact: NCTE +1 (217) 328-3870 http://ncte.org/annual 2 23–26 Jan 2012 The Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS), on “Securing Tomorrow’s Future With Reliability and Maintainability,” will be held at the Nugget Hotel and Resort in Reno, NV. For more information, contact: RAMS +1 (603) 863-2832 www.rams.org 3 16–20 Feb The 2012 American Association for… Read the rest

Twelve Key Mobile Usability Guidelines You Need to Implement Now

By Marta Rauch | Senior Member Mobile devices are the new PC. With sales outpacing desktop systems in 2011, consumers increasingly use smartphones and tablets to access products and services. However, mobile usability lags behind desktop usability, and the user experience is often difficult and disappointing. To meet the needs of mobile customers, information developers need to ramp up on mobile usability and learn to provide effective mobile user assistance. This article summarizes mobile usability guidelines and presents key requirements for user assistance on mobile devices, including tablets such as iPad, and smartphones such as Android and iPhone. Analyze Mobile… Read the rest

What to Know About eBooks

By Nad Rosenberg | Associate Fellow Most people reading this have probably read at least one eBook or are considering doing so in the near future. What gives this assumption validity? The fact that adults in the United States who own an eBook reader doubled from 6% in November 2010 to 12% in May 2011 (according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project). Here are a few other factoids that manifest the rapid spread of eBooks in all walks of life: The venerable New York Times Best Sellers List now has a separate list for eBooks. The… Read the rest

Conference Registration Opens 1 December

Conference registration for the 2012 Technical Communication Summit, taking place 20–23 May 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois—just outside of Chicago and minutes from O’Hare International Airport—opens 1 December. Visit the Summit website, http://summit.stc.org, for full details on the Summit as they are available. This year, STC is offering a limited “Really Early Bird” rate for the first 100 registrations (with a cutoff date of 31 December). Be one of the first to register and pay only $795 for access to all the great educations, vendors, and networking that the Summit offers. That’s a savings of $230 over the regular rate of… Read the rest

STC Chicago Welcomes You to Rosemont!

By Mary Whalen The 2012 STC Summit will be held just outside of the city of Chicago at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, Illinois. If you are planning to attend the Summit, you might be looking forward to heading to downtown Chicago for the great tourist attractions it offers. The town of Rosemont, however, offers enough to do that you might end up having a hard time fitting in a trip to downtown Chicago. For restaurants, Rosemont can give you a taste of Chicago, the familiar flavors of home, or something new. Within walking distance of the hotel is… Read the rest

Community Achievement Award Applications Due 23 January

By Nicky Bleiel | Senior Member STC Chapters, SIGs, and Student Chapters are all encouraged to apply for the Community Achievement Awards, which honor the outstanding accomplishments of STC Communities. There are three levels of recognition: Merit, Excellence, and Distinction. The CAAs will be presented at the 2012 STC Summit in Rosemont, IL. Two of the outstanding CAA honorees will also be awarded “Most Improved Community” and “Community of the Year.” The applications include only minor changes, so if your community planning was based on the 2010 application, you will be in line with the CAA requirements. The change of… Read the rest

Tech Comm and Mobile: What You Need to Know

By Neil Perlin | Fellow This column presents overviews of new technologies that may affect technical communicators in the near future. If you have feedback, or would like to suggest topics for subsequent columns, please contact Neil Perlin at nperlin@concentric.net. Tech comm has undergone three major changes since the early 1980s—word processing, online help, and the Web. Each went through a turbulent period before entering the mainstream of the field. We're now in the midst of a fourth change—mobile. And after some turbulent years, it too is going mainstream. If you're a technical communicator, it's time to start looking at… Read the rest

Developing User Assistance for Mobile Applications

By Joe Welinske User Assistance (UA) in a Mobile World The ubiquity of cell phones means that almost all of us have experienced mobile voice calling and texting: instant communication with anyone, anytime. We are used to getting what we want extremely fast and in just the way we like. Most consumers have brought those same expectations with them as they move to smartphones and mobile applications (apps). The apps of today are all about speedy access to discrete actions and specific information. This is a very different environment from the fixed workstation, large-screen desktop environment of traditional enterprise applications.… Read the rest

Mobile Devices Improve Security Options: Improving Availability While Maintaining Confidentiality and Integrity

By Jamie Gillenwater | Member Mobile devices connected through Wi-Fi, 3G, and Bluetooth allow users to share information more easily than ever before. According to Contently.com, an estimated 1.6 million blog posts are written every day; only 35% of those posts are written by professionals. Users add approximately 60 images per second to Flickr. Twenty-five billion tweets were sent in 2010. And these numbers are growing. The massive amount of public content doesn’t take into consideration internal company documents and secure information shared through servers. Have mobile devices made a difference for these organizations? Is their content unchanged by these… Read the rest

A Virtual Success: Best Practices for Working Remotely

By Barrie Byron | Associate Fellow, and Ann Grove | Senior Member Introduction Many of us work from home, at least part of the time. According to Thomas L. Friedman’s book, The World is Flat, today 23.5 million—16 percent of the American labor force—works from home at least part of the time. However, as remote workers, we face unfamiliar challenges for which we are not prepared. We have learned through research and experience that best practices for virtual work must include earning trust, maintaining high visibility, and practicing healthy work habits. With home offices in two states and virtual work… Read the rest