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
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • 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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  • 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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  • Scenarios for software products: what, why, and how

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):180 - 184
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    As technical writers, we know about the role of various presentation methods in conveying information about software products, such as ordered lists for presenting procedures, diagrams for presenting processes, and tables for presenting classifications. But where do scenarios fit in and what do they look like? Traditionally, scenarios are not viewed as a necessary part of software product document... View full abstract»

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  • Training in information technologies for complex problem-solving

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):36 - 41
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    We have developed training for small business managers to help them map complex business problems onto electronic data and turn data into information for strategic decision-making. We call this training the “Seurat system ” because it helps people take distinct points of data and create patterns that are meaningful for a situational problem. Our training rests on findings from a survey... 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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  • Bridging the gap: the road runs both ways

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):333 - 337
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    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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  • Implementing on-line methods and procedures in a distributed client/server graphical user interface environment

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):185 - 189
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    The application supported by the methods and procedures presented is a telephone central office inventory system which assists users in maintaining an accurate inventory of telephone equipment and connectivity, and facilitates asset management by central office personnel. The M&Ps had to be online while providing a look and feel consistent with the application. Users also needed to access both... View full abstract»

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  • Employee empowerment in the field of technical communication

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):44 - 47
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    This paper describes employee-empowering activities that multimedia services personnel have pursued, along with the results that were obtained. The paper also presents empowerment ideas that other working groups in the field of technical communication can pursue View full abstract»

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  • 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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  • Rhetorical considerations for the humanization of online help

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):361 - 365
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | 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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  • 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 usefulness of computerized readability tools: three case studies

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):233 - 237
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    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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  • Template teams: teamwork in technical communication

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):2 - 5
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    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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  • Building a hypermedia information system on the Internet

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):192 - 197
    Cited by:  Patents (44)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | 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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  • Technical writing on self-directed teams

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):48 - 54
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    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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  • Preparing IR&D reports electronically: a case study in data base publishing

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):454 - 458
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    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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  • 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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  • Technical communicators in product-development teams: what can we really contribute?

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):389 - 393
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    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The power of plain language in global competition

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):267 - 271
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    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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  • 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 problem with fill patterns

    Publication Year: 1994, Page(s):257 - 260
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    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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  • 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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