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IPCC 94 Proceedings. Scaling New Heights in Technical Communication

Sept. 28 1993-Oct. 1 1993

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  • IPCC 94 Proceedings. Scaling New Heights in Technical Communication

    Publication Year: 1994
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (70 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Creating interactive on-line instruction

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):446 - 451
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (320 KB)

    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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  • Delivery - a matter of making connections

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):74 - 79
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (376 KB)

    The most carefully prepared presentation will fail if you don't deliver it well. Fortunately, strong delivery skills are much easier to build than many people imagine. In fact, the key ingredient is not a skill but an attitude-namely, a desire to connect honestly with the audience. Focusing on maintaining that connection will naturally lead you to do the right things with your body, eyes, and voic... View full abstract»

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  • The usefulness of computerized readability tools: three case studies

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):233 - 237
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (324 KB)

    A 1993 survey of 39 communicators in high-tech industries revealed low use of computerized readability formulas among professional technical and business communicators. The current research focuses on case studies of three technical writers who used a variety of computerized readability tools and kept a detailed journal of their writing and editing processes. The study offers a look at real world ... View full abstract»

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  • Preparing IR&D reports electronically: a case study in data base publishing

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):454 - 458
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (308 KB)

    This paper describes a process for timely development of descriptions of Independent Research and Development projects. A review is given of new Department of Defense (DoD) requirements for electronic submission of data to the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). Key considerations are discussed for drafting, editing, and producing IR&D project descriptions using data base publishing s... View full abstract»

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  • Technical writing on self-directed teams

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):48 - 54
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (428 KB)

    Many companies are reorganizing their work forces and encouraging teamwork by creating empowered or self-directed work teams (SDTs). While hardly a new management concept, companies are relying more heavily on teams to deliver competitive, high-quality goods and services. Consequently, employees of these companies find that they must change the way they work, in terms of both organization and proc... View full abstract»

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  • Reengineering the engineer: providing authors with tools to improve technology transfer

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):82 - 84
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (176 KB)

    To cope with the current trend to conserve resources while compressing development cycles and increasing workloads, SEMATECH's Technology Transfer group has undertaken a project to “reengineer” its engineer-authors. The objective of this project is to create a paradigm shift in the way that engineer-authors perceive their role in the technology transfer process. This paper discusses th... View full abstract»

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  • Voice mail and media richness theory-a longitudinal study

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):238 - 243
    Request permission for commercial reuse | 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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  • Modular format teaching of engineering management communications

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):101 - 105
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (256 KB)

    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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  • Putting service and support documentation online - avoiding the perils and pitfalls: investigation of user requirements

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):460 - 463
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (228 KB)

    The study of user requirements for online documentation was handled in three parts. The first part consisted of a series of site visits with customers from a wide variety of company size and geographic location. The interviews focused on customer issues with the current service and support documentation and their future needs. The second part consisted of a benchmark study of the ten publications ... View full abstract»

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  • Optimizing productivity using collaborative teams

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):55 - 59
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (244 KB)

    This paper focuses on a strategy to optimize industrial productivity and then applies this strategy to projects in American industries. The strategy includes: defining the term optimization, identifying the constraints, selecting a collaborative model 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)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | 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 scientific personality and the role of the technical supervisor in the enhancement of communication within the university-based research laboratory

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):322 - 326
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (340 KB)

    The university-based scientific research laboratory provides interesting and unique challenges to the individual responsible for its technical supervision. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss key characteristics of the “scientific personality” and how these relate to the laboratory communication environment that the technical supervisor should nurture and maintain. When succ... View full abstract»

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  • Using graphics to support minimalist documentation

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):174 - 179
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (380 KB)

    Designing a user interface using minimalist principles can reduce the amount of paper and text necessary to document the system. Graphics in the interface helps the user grasp the concepts of the system, while dialog boxes, status information, and error messages aid in recognizing success and recovering from errors. Online help becomes a backup for users if they get stuck View full abstract»

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  • The information design process at Bellcore

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):396 - 400
    Request permission for commercial reuse | 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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  • Collaborative writing: the Environment Guide experience

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):351 - 355
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (244 KB)

    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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  • A visual analysis process as a design and communication tool

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):246 - 250
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (292 KB)

    While technical communicators are increasingly involved in visual design tasks, they frequently have difficulty communicating verbally about the visual, and, therefore, contributing effectively to design development. The visual analysis procedure outlined in the paper provides a common framework and language for both design evaluation and group communication View full abstract»

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  • Global markets and localization

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):108 - 110
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (184 KB)

    To create world-class information and deliver it on time and within budget, technical communicators and managers must know what the competition is producing, how the global market is changing, and how to effectively reach readers whose language and culture differ from their own. This paper offers an overview of macroeconomic trends affecting North American business, defines key terms, and presents... View full abstract»

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  • Usability testing techniques: a process for group evaluations

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):291 - 295
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (280 KB)

    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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  • Virtual resources for technical communicators: two studies of writing and reading on the Internet

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):202 - 207
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (348 KB)

    During the fall, 1993, the Internet was the focus of 170 articles (R. Wright, 1993), yet few technical communicators have documented how an environment that attracts over 6000 new users per month will affect their profession. The paper describes data collected from 39 technical communicators who use the Internet and discusses its effect on their productivity as professionals. In addition, we intro... View full abstract»

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  • Design of document structure using an information modelling approach

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):11 - 16
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (296 KB)

    Designing the structure of multi-author documents and specification of the interaction between a document, its media and its authors are important issues. The paper describes the application of an information modelling approach, NIAM, to address these issues. Document design has been decomposed into specification of the structure, the media and the authors of a document, followed by the relationsh... View full abstract»

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  • Putting service and support documentation online - avoiding the perils and pitfalls: putting the research to use

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):464 - 465
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (136 KB)

    As a result of the study done of customer satisfaction with online information and paper documentation, information developers at Compaq Computer Corporation were able to develop a comprehensive strategy for producing service and support documentation. We learned that such documentation must be considered as an integrated system rather than as a series of discrete pieces. With an integrated strate... View full abstract»

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  • Turning a conference paper into a Transactions article

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):426 - 429
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (232 KB)

    After presenting a paper at a conference, consider turning it into an article for the Transactions on Professional Communication journal. The former and present editors of that journal describe the process, focusing on the special characteristics of an archival, peer-reviewed journal. The IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is an archival, peer-reviewed, quarterly journal that addresse... View full abstract»

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  • Designing graphics to support physical tasks

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):62 - 66
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | 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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  • Moving upstream in the design process: new frontiers for technical communicators

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):280 - 284
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (280 KB)

    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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