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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
  • A new computer tool for writers and readers

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):272 - 277
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (312 KB)

    Today's writing takes place on word processors, or, more precisely, on personal computers using word processing software. This environment offers opportunities to think anew about the way in which writing is done and the ways in which it can be enhanced. One recently discovered data structure for representing text is the PAT array. The paper describes a tool based on the structure and how the it m... 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)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | 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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  • Shrink-wrapping the formula for better information: end user vs. MIS computer documentation preferences

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):366 - 369
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (216 KB)

    Information is typically the lowest rated component when measuring overall satisfaction of a software product. This is particularly disconcerting when you realize that in many software environments, the information is the face of the product, the first exposure most customers have. In 1993, IBM conducted a survey of current users of systems software product documentation-MIS professionals. We init... 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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  • Quality documentation-ISO 9000 as a process model

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):372 - 377
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (308 KB)

    In preparing for ISO 9000 certification, I developed useful techniques which can be used to improve quality in other documentation tasks. Even if you're not involved in ISO 9000, it can serve as a good general model for documentation management. In this case study, I describe the ISO 9000 standard and the process of certification, and explain some of the tools and techniques I used in the process,... View full abstract»

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  • Forging an outsourcing partnership that works

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):406 - 410
    Cited by:  Papers (1)  |  Patents (13)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (284 KB)

    Today, many firms are looking for ways to reduce overheads and operate more efficiently. One alternative is outsourcing. Large software companies like IBM and Microsoft have begun setting up partnerships with consulting firms to perform work that's not directly related to their core business activities. Documentation is often one of the functions firms identify as a potential candidate for outsour... View full abstract»

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  • The production of multimedia publications

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):298 - 303
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    The paper reports experience in establishing a production environment for the parallel publication of documents in paper and electronic form. A multimedia active document architecture is described and illustrated through examples of published material View full abstract»

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  • Strategy or SNAFU? The virtues and vulnerabilities of SGML

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):378 - 379
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (104 KB)

    Considers the advantages and disadvantages of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) which has been adopted by the International Standards Organization, the American National Standards Institute, and the US Department of Defense as a standard for describing the components of documents View full abstract»

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  • Enhancing electrical engineering students' communication skills-the baseline findings

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):412 - 417
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (336 KB)

    In 1993, we initiated a five-year project to enhance the communication skills of electrical engineering students. For our 1994 presentation, we report selected findings of our initial surveys of electrical engineering students, and then we highlight the communication activities of recent graduates. Finally, we briefly describe the process that we will use in developing the products-hypertext appli... View full abstract»

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  • Considerations for the use of multimedia with scientific and technical information: a case study

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):304 - 310
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (416 KB)

    A team of publications professionals and scientists at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site combined efforts to create a multimedia database summarizing more than 40 years of ecological research on the site. While many of the issues associated with print publishing are still relevant to multimedia publishing, new issues such as video, data structure, user interface, and software licensin... View full abstract»

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  • Template teams: teamwork in technical communication

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):2 - 5
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (264 KB)

    The problem: do you have a client who wants a monthly report on the progress of your project? Are there a dozen or more authors whose input must be compiled, rewritten, reviewed, text processed, duplicated and delivered to the client-all within three weeks every month? How do you create a quality report given the limited time and a set budget? The solution: creating electronic templates and templa... View full abstract»

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  • Creating a climate for teamwork

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):222 - 226
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (316 KB)

    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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  • Writers as key members of product development teams

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):382 - 385
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    All too often, technical writers have been relegated to the back end of the development process, providing documentation for products whose design and implementation are essentially complete. This paper describes a model that ensures writer involvement throughout the life cycle of a project. Although official policy at SunSoft supposedly mandates writer participation in all stages of product devel... View full abstract»

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  • Industry mentors in a technical communications program

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):418 - 423
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (348 KB)

    The Engineering School at SUNY in the US developed and has been implementing a technical communications (TC) program since 1988. A major element of this TC program is an elective course which affords the students an opportunity to develop proposal preparation and presentation skills in a workshop-oriented atmosphere. Over the past three years (1991-94) a mentoring program has been included, involv... View full abstract»

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  • The power of plain language in global competition

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):267 - 271
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (268 KB)

    The paper discusses the effects of cooperative cross border trade agreements combined with the pressure of technological advance which has created a global market place that affects businesses both large and small. In the '80s a focus on quality management provided the competitive edge. In the '90s an additional focus on knowing, meeting and servicing changing client needs will be critical for suc... View full abstract»

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  • Teamwork, technology, and a plan: producing a multivolume proceedings “before” the conference

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):317 - 321
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (328 KB)

    Imagine having only 6 weeks to prepare a proceedings 10 times as large as the one you are holding in your hands. A communications team from Battelle publishes such a proceedings every other year for the conferences of the American council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Teamwork cutting-edge publishing technology, and good planning are necessary to prepare 4000 camera-ready pages in such a short ... View full abstract»

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  • Version control in collaborative writing

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):6 - 10
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (244 KB)

    An architecture for automatic version control in collaborative writing is described. This system enables authors to operate independently using normal word processing facilities to edit the `same ' document, and supports them in understanding and managing what has happened when the document files are brought together. The paragraph and document level versioning mechanisms are described and illustr... 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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  • Whole-product usability: integrating documentation and rest-of-product usability testing

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):127 - 133
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (416 KB)

    Describes a recommended process for implementing a whole-product usability program, in which documentation and rest-of-product testing combine to yield valuable data for both professional communicators and product developers. The paper includes examples from the authors' usability testing experience View full abstract»

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  • The problem with fill patterns

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):257 - 260
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (304 KB)

    The paper presents results of research on the use of fill patterns in graphs and charts by both paper and pencil designers and computer designers. In the study, technically trained university students responded to a prompt which told them to design a small set of graphs and charts for their manager. Subjects were interviewed, videotaped and their graphs and charts were reviewed by evaluators. Resu... 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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  • 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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  • Technical communication at a crossroads: documentation meets multimedia in a software company

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):386 - 388
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (204 KB)

    Discusses the impact of multimedia technology on the technical communication profession. The authors maintain that the introduction of this technology necessitates organizational changes in the technical communication environment at the same time that it creates new opportunities for professional development. They emphasize that success in this new environment depends to a large extent on the adop... View full abstract»

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  • The learning organization: the importance of adult education for technical communicators

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):30 - 35
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (336 KB)

    The paper suggests that the fields of adult education and technical communication are converging. The birth of the information society has resulted in the development of a new kind of organization: the learning organization. The overriding importance of information is also creating the conditions necessary for the field of technical communication to achieve a new status. The paper discusses these ... View full abstract»

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