What it means to be a technical communicator

Posted 22 February 2011 by
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Bob Chapman

This is a polished version of a post I made in a group discussion on LinkedIn. In this case, a person who was about to graduate with an English degree was wondering about finding a position in technical writing. I tell what being a technical communicator means to me.

Development Techniques for User Assistance in Smartphone Applications

Posted 16 February 2011 by
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Joe Welinske

“Development Techniques for User Assistance in Smartphone Applications” was the title of the presentation given by Joe Welinske (WritersUA) at the February 15, 2011, meeting of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. He shared some of his observations having worked with a couple companies developing user assistance for Apple┬« iPhone┬« applications.

Getting my hands dirty

Posted 9 February 2011 by
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Cooperative rowing crew

A standard interview question is asking how I gain subject matter expert cooperation. For me, the best way is to get my hands dirty.

Create software user assistance from system specifications

Posted 21 January 2011 by
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SecureSync from Iron Mountain

User assistance needs to match software as it was built, not envisioned. It takes time to create user assistance. A company wants to see a return on investment as soon as possible. There are considerations that must be made when creating the first version of the user assistance before the product is done.

Translation versus localization

Posted 16 January 2011 by
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Highbrow Hare

A literal translation of text written in one language to another language does not necessarily convey the full meaning to someone reading the translated text. Localizing text, rather than simply translating text, can more fully convey all the meaning and nuance of the original. The Seattle Opera Company did some localizing of the Italian text into American English in the current production of the Barber of Seville. Seeing one of their examples conveys what localizing really means.

Software development from a technical documentation standpoint

Posted 15 January 2011 by
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011511_2344_SoftwareDev15.jpg

A variation on a familar cartoon to look at software development from a technical documentation standpoint.

Instructional Design

Posted 15 January 2011 by
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Adult education is about teaching specific tasks needed for a job. Knowing how to use a particular piece of software has never made a dime for a company. Instead, knowing how to use the software (as a tool) to complete an activity that generates money is what counts. You want web-based training uses consistent and appropriate language and branding to communicate to the learner. Read how an instructional designer does this.

Technical Editing

Posted 14 January 2011 by
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You have expectations on how you can use your content. Working with your writers through all stages of content creation or revision, your editor can have your content meet your usage expectations. Read how an editor does this.

Technical Writing

Posted 14 January 2011 by
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As are all other types of writing, technical writing is an art. It differs from much other writing because it conveys technical information in an understandable, direct way for the reader to take action. The technical writer prepares content for storage, distribution, localization, and reuse. Techncial writing changes technical information into words targeted for those users who will use the documentation. Read more about the process.

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