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Professional Communication Conference, 1994. IPCC '94 Proceedings. Scaling New Heights in Technical Communication., International

Date Sept. 28 1993-Oct. 1 1993

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 83
  • IPCC 94 Proceedings. Scaling New Heights in Technical Communication

    Publication Year: 1994
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Bridging the gap: the road runs both ways

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 333 - 337
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (324 KB)  

    Technical writers and editors are often caught between engineering or scientific sources who have difficulty communicating their work outside their own disciplines and an audience that lacks basic understanding of rudimentary technical concepts. The result is a growing gap in understanding between the technical community and the rest of the population. Two programs one at CU and one at UCAR, attem... View full abstract»

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  • Collaborative writing in product development across remote sites

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 346 - 350
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    Collaborative writing poses problems, even in the best of circumstances. We addresses some problems, and offer some solutions associated with development of a new product and its user documentation where marketing development, and technical writing team members were separated by several hundred miles. Areas to be covered include: identification of the market and user; makeup of the team; division ... View full abstract»

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  • Moving upstream in the design process: new frontiers for technical communicators

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 280 - 284
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    Early involvement with product design teams forces technical communicators to reflect on their roles in the design of usable products and requires a new perspective about peripheral user documentation. The paper addresses the link between software design and documentation and considers these questions: what new roles are available to technical communicators? How can technical communicators be more... View full abstract»

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  • Results of testing the question-and-answer technique

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 228 - 232
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    The paper gives results of a test of the question-and-answer technique for presenting information. After describing the design of the test (materials, questions, participants, methodology), the paper presents the comparative test results. Results consist of both hard numbers (information retrieval times) and test takers' opinions. In addition, the writer's perspective on the creation of question-a... View full abstract»

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  • Rhetorical considerations for the humanization of online help

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 361 - 365
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (328 KB)  

    Human interaction with computers, in spite of the widespread use of online help, is often frustrating and unproductive. Why? Because the focus has been on the technology, not on the rhetorical nature of humans. By observing how users engage in dialogue with other people and with computers, interface designers may get closer to designing more effective computer tools, tools much better suited to hu... View full abstract»

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  • The levels of editing are upside down

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 89 - 93
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (260 KB)  

    “Levels of editing ” has become a widely used tool since the appearance of the first booklet on the concept in 1976. Levels of editing schemes have been widely praised and adopted in a variety of organizations, yet from the way most “levels of edit” systems are structured, content (the author's main concern) is seldom addressed in any way until the second or third level of ... View full abstract»

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  • Creating a climate for teamwork

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 222 - 226
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    Although professional communicators can justly take pride in effective design and packaging of communication products, often we fail to realize the design of our own interpersonal communication. With the best intention in the world, we frequently create a defensive climate for one-on-one communication. A defensive climate stifles the communication process: team members tend to withdraw rather than... View full abstract»

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  • Shifting our focus: communicating science to a new, nontechnical culture

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 142 - 146
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (324 KB)  

    The US Congress's decision to close down the $11 billion Superconducting Supercollider is spreading anxiety throughout the scientific community. As funding for the nation's research laboratories becomes increasingly scarce, technical communicators in these organizations must focus much of their communications efforts on a new culture: Congress and the public. We discuss how to characterize this ne... View full abstract»

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  • Know your network: connecting with audiences in the age of electronic communications

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 198 - 201
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    In electronically networked organizations, the capacity to reach more and different audiences virtually explodes. The ability to generate messages quickly brings both benefits and risks: rapid but potentially reactive message exchanges in the context of chaos. In such a context, how can correspondents on the information highway come to know or analyze their audiences? The channel is e-mail; the me... View full abstract»

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  • Do-it-yourself style guides for all occasions

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 85 - 88
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (224 KB)  

    A style guide is a set of editorial decisions. Most large companies have style guides for their documentation/publication departments, to keep all their documents consistent. This paper discusses types and uses of style guides, and how to create them. A style guide can be as simple as a one-page checklist for a particular type of document, or a boilerplate file on your computer. If you have a numb... View full abstract»

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  • The information design process at Bellcore

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 396 - 400
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (344 KB)  

    Think about what could happen when, in the course of business process re-engineering, a decision is made to consciously design information flows and information production within a large research organization? The result could be chaos. Or, the exercise could result in a highly efficient process in which chunks of information are created and written once, then organized in a way that facilitates t... View full abstract»

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  • Testing online helps with paper and pencil

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 124 - 126
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (148 KB)  

    Testing online help systems does not have to be limited to the final stages of a project. A paper-and-pencil scenario can help you identify problems in the help text, in the organization of information, and in the underlying design of the software. In addition, such tests can help you determine where to put hypertext links and graphics View full abstract»

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  • Teaching communication skills in the engineering college: the Texas/Swedish experience

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 96 - 100
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    The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin now incorporates the teaching of technical communication at all levels within its degree program. A similar program recently initiated at MidSweden University shares many of the precepts and techniques of the Texas program largely as a result of a Swedish faculty visit to the UT program. Particularly succe... View full abstract»

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  • Voice mail and media richness theory-a longitudinal study

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 238 - 243
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (332 KB)  

    Work by R.L. Daft, R.H. Lengel and L. Trevino (1987) in media richness theory (MRT) is being used as a major reference in the study of MRT and the place of the new media within the dimension of MRT. There is a gap in the work of Daft and Lengel: lack of analysis of the scale of equivocality. There is no evidence of the unidimensionality of the scale used to measure equivocality. Consequently there... View full abstract»

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  • The changing future of technology in work organizations: a late nineteenth century view

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 136 - 141
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    In 1988, Shoshanna Zuboff wrote “In The Age Of The Smart Machine: The Future Of Work And Power”, in which she examined a variety of work methodologies. By examining how various work organizations utilize computers, she reiterated the power and potential of computing tools in the workplace. Since Zuboff's book was published, a variety of socioeconomic mechanisms continue to inhibit the ... View full abstract»

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  • Creating interactive on-line instruction

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 446 - 451
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    The Apple Guide interactive instructional system was designed and developed by the Instructional Products group at Apple Computer. This effort consisted of simultaneous creation of three separate components: a system extension, or “engine,” that provides the interface and features of the system; a set of Guides, or databases, that contain the instructions; and a set of tools for author... View full abstract»

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  • Spiraling up and down the spiral development staircase [software development process]

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 401 - 405
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    Provides information about a software project team that successfully implemented the spiral development process and how the technical communication team adapted to the process. Key points described in this paper include: defining development process models; defining the spiral development process model; describing our spiral development process model; planning the information units; staffing the t... View full abstract»

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  • Modular format teaching of engineering management communications

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 101 - 105
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    The modular format method of teaching engineering management communications was designed to upgrade the communication skills of engineers in the workplace. This paper explains how the two modules, each of which consisted of four 8-hour days, were designed for maximum effectiveness. The assignments utilized a mixture of in-class assignments and assignments that were to be completed in the evenings.... View full abstract»

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  • Building a hypermedia information system on the Internet

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 192 - 197
    Cited by:  Patents (38)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (496 KB)  

    Sun Microsystems Computer Inc. (SMI) introduced an easy access and fast retrieval hypermedia information system on the Internet in April 1994. The hypermedia information system is designed to provide Sun's present and potential customers with easily accessible up-to-date, sales, marketing, product and service information worldwide. The SMI information system on the Internet is an application of th... View full abstract»

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  • Designing graphics to support physical tasks

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 62 - 66
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (248 KB)  

    Graphics for physical tasks need to take into account the needs of users who will carry out actions in a physical environment. Research suggests that graphics need to show tasks from the users' viewpoint, and need to make clear how tools are to be used and the direction in which actions are to be exerted. The paper provides some sample graphic design guidelines View full abstract»

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  • Collaborative writing: the Environment Guide experience

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 351 - 355
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    The authors are technical writers at Speedware Corporation, which makes and markets Speedware/4GL, a programming language for writing database applications. They describe their experience in their department's first collaborative-writing project. To meet a tight deadline, they were assigned to write the Environment Guide together. This manual explains how to use Speedware with different database m... View full abstract»

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  • Usability testing techniques: a process for group evaluations

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 291 - 295
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    Usability efforts for Intel Branded Products, until recently, consisted of user testing of completed products. Now, for software products, we are able to incorporate usability evaluations earlier into the development process. We do this by role playing from the user perspective, what we call heuristic walk-throughs. The feedback we get from these tests benefits the interface design, and the proces... View full abstract»

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  • Technical communicators in product-development teams: what can we really contribute?

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 389 - 393
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (304 KB)  

    Technical communicators are increasingly offered the opportunity to work as fully participating members of product-development teams. While these opportunities enable them to make contributions to product design and acceptance, they may require additional knowledge and skills to make the best of these opportunities. Those who participate without the necessary qualifications may find that their con... View full abstract»

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  • Using a prototype package to obtain customer feedback: how one technical writer became a more integral part of the development team

    Publication Year: 1994 , Page(s): 285 - 290
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (332 KB)  

    The paper explains how one technical writer got involved in the design stages of a product. She took control of developing a prototype and using it to obtain feedback from a customer. The results of her prototype package became a necessary tool for the software engineers, technical writers, managers and product marketers since it provided the first view of the user model, menu structure and visual... View full abstract»

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