18th Annual Conference on Computer Documentation. ipcc sigdoc 2000. Technology and Teamwork. Proceedings. IEEE Professional Communication Society International Professional Communication Conference an

24-27 Sept. 2000

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  • 18th Annual Conference on Computer Documentation. ipcc sigdoc 2000. Technology and Teamwork. Proceedings. IEEE Professional Communication Society International Professional Communication Conference and ACM Special Interest Group on Documentation Conference (Cat. No.00CH37136)

    Publication Year: 2000
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (320 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Creating single-sourced tutorials

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):343 - 351
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (434 KB)

    Suppose you want to integrate a tutorial, or several tutorials, into your product documentation. Doing so can let your users check their understanding and ability to use what they have learned. In HTML documentation, for example, you could structure your pre-exam documentation so that it builds toward a core set of principles and procedures that you identify as necessary for a typical user. At Omn... View full abstract»

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  • Author index

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):631 - 633
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • The design response to usability test findings: a case study based on artifacts and interviews

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):315 - 323
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (624 KB)

    Usability testing during product development has gained wide acceptance as a strategy for improving product quality, but it is difficult to find published studies that actually document the impact of usability test findings and recommendations on product design. This case study examines a usability test that was done during the development of a software feature and is based on the usability test a... View full abstract»

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  • A unified process for software and documentation development

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):221 - 238
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (932 KB)

    This paper proposes the integration of the documentation development process into the rational unified process (RUP), a formal development process for software applications. Specifically, the paper identifies (in RUP parlance) the workers in the process (such as technical writer, information architect), the artifacts required by and produced by the documentation process (including concept, task an... View full abstract»

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  • “…but can you prove it?” [technical documentation]

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):309 - 313
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (280 KB)

    Technical writers are called upon for many different types of documentation for any given product. Those documents can be user's manuals, technical manuals, or marketing brochures, pamphlets and other publications. Most of the background required to write such documents can be, and is, taught in typical college classes. Errors in user's manuals and technical manuals most often are no more serious ... View full abstract»

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  • Making sense of step-by-step procedures

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):463 - 475
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (752 KB)

    Procedural instructions that consist of only a sequence of steps will probably be executable, but nevertheless “meaningless” to users of technical devices. The paper discusses three features that can make procedural instructions more meaningful: adding functional coordinating information, adding information about the use of the technical device in real life, and adding operational info... View full abstract»

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  • Corporate intranets: building communities with data

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):197 - 201
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (288 KB)

    We have seen phenomenal growth in corporate intranets in the past few years and they have fundamentally changed the way we do business. There are two main benefits of a corporate intranet. One is to provide a central location for all corporate information and the other is to build a sense of community to a dispersed workforce. Most intranets start as a tool for distributing company policies and be... View full abstract»

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  • Documentation meets version control: an automated backup system for HTML-based help

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):541 - 548
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (476 KB)

    Software developers have used version control systems for years, to manage source code changes and to enable them to reproduce any given level of their software from the source code that created it. Most writing departments, however, tend to perform full-scale weekly backups at best or tempt fate by not performing any backups at worst. The two major reasons for this neglect of document version con... View full abstract»

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  • Is more beta better? [beta testing]

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):301 - 308
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (500 KB)

    Designers of performance support systems need to know their users and can get information about users by several sources, including beta testers. Large samples of beta testers are easier to get than large samples of subjects from laboratory testing and field studies. However, sampling bias may yield misleading data from beta testers. The paper discusses an example case of designers and beta tester... View full abstract»

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  • Applying culture to Web site design: a comparison of Malaysian and US Web sites

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):161 - 171
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (648 KB)

    Cultural localization should become a necessary adjunct to technology transfer and global business communication. A recent Siemens study (1999) of mobile phone use in Germany and China highlighted the value of cultural models and culturally localized support information. We similarly compare cultural orientations and design preferences for Web sites in Malaysia and the United States. We review the... View full abstract»

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  • Guidelines for writing HTML help

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):453 - 462
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (604 KB)

    The paper provides guidelines for writing HTML help content for end users of Apple hardware and software products. The guidelines were developed by the editors in Apple Computer's Instructional Products (IP) group to respond to the problems that arose as documentation shifted from print books to HTML help. Initially, writers struggled to “retrofit” their print content for the onscreen ... View full abstract»

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  • Writing for adaptable documentation

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):497 - 508
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (708 KB)

    The rapid development of reusable software components results in an information overload problem in the development process. Software developers must read large amounts of documentation. Adaptive documentation is one way to address this problem and support efficient reading. However, in our view, adaptive documentation requires a writing process that delivers the pedagogical strategies for adaptiv... View full abstract»

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  • Reactions of computer savvy users to information on the intranet

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):191 - 196
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (380 KB)

    Providing a corporate human resources Web site to enable employees access to their benefits and health benefits information is a sensible use of the intranet and a worthy goal. As the designer/developer of the Web site, as well as an employee of the company, you may naively assume you know your audience very well. This dual role of audience member and designer is both a strength and a weakness. Th... View full abstract»

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  • Learning and building strategies with computer games

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):535 - 540
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (296 KB)

    It has been frequently noted that people can intuitively learn to play computer games (or video games) with little or no instruction and that they quickly and easily develop skills for becoming better players. The same is rarely said of software for business applications. We were interested in learning why this is true. We have undertaken a study is to see what aspects of game interfaces contribut... View full abstract»

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  • The politics, problems, and practicalities of serving as effective user advocate in an obstinate organization

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):111 - 124
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (960 KB)

    We are all, to some extent, political animals who continually work with definitions and categorizations, trying to determine who is inside our group, who is outside our group, who is supportive of our group, who is detrimental who is useful and productive and who is not. These politics of organization, classification, division and association are intensified as the pressures on our groups to succe... View full abstract»

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  • What kind of knowledge gets deposited in textbooks?

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):295 - 300
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (412 KB)

    This paper explores how technical writing participates in estimates of value, based on its historical roots in mining and metallurgy going back to T.A. Rickard's first technical writing textbook published in 1908. The paper extends this exploration to include influences on Rickard's understanding of technical writing's social function, such as classical encyclopedic traditions, books of Hermetic s... View full abstract»

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  • The persuasive power of pathos in e-commerce Web design: a new area for research

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):155 - 160
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (316 KB)

    In a matter of months, we have witnessed the meteoric rise and fall of e-commerce. Now that the dust is settling it is time to examine how some companies are succeeding where others have failed. I suggest that good Web design is vital to e-business and that pathos (emotional appeal) plays a key role in a design's persuasive power. Advertisers have long understood this concept. As e-commerce attemp... View full abstract»

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  • Evolution of the writer's role

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):1 - 6
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (324 KB)

    The paper discusses how the organization of technical writers vis-a-vis programmers significantly influences the effectiveness of the writer as user advocate. A writer can be treated as a peer to developers, but only if the writer understands the technology they're writing about and helps to improve the product's ease of use. This can be achieved more easily in an environment where writers are mor... View full abstract»

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  • Publications management from an ecological perspective: three documentation case studies

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):443 - 451
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (608 KB)

    The paper uses an information ecology metaphor to examine the performance of publications management tasks. The author applies an ecological perspective, focusing on the humans, tools, values, and objectives involved in publications activities to three case studies. These case studies provide insight into the development, integration, and remediation of information ecologies. The author contends t... View full abstract»

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  • Elucidative Programming in Java

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):483 - 495
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (724 KB)

    The authors describe the ideas of Elucidative Programming. With Elucidative Programming we are primarily concerned with documentation of program understanding, and presentation of such understanding on the World Wide Web. In a broader perspective, we are interested in support of any technical writing which needs to address source program constituents. We claim that Elucidative Programming may be h... View full abstract»

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  • A Why-What-How tool for development and documentation of operating procedures

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):559 - 570
    Cited by:  Patents (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (688 KB)

    DSTOP (Design Support Tool for Operating Procedures) is a relatively simple software tool for the support of designers of new user interfaces and their procedures for use. DSTOP is based on two complementary models: the documentation coherence maxims and the situated-act model, which distinguishes domain actions from interface actions. Use of the tool involves the writing of operating procedures u... View full abstract»

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  • Using new technologies for communication and learning

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):185 - 189
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (312 KB)

    This paper evolved during our efforts to implement distance education in a technologically impoverished region. Like other groups lost behind the so-called “digital divide,” this constituency lacks both access and experience in using electronic devices. Even the most technologically savvy members of this audience, which is composed primarily of adult and continuing education graduate s... View full abstract»

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  • What you installed is what you see: help navigation in modular software products

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):521 - 533
    Cited by:  Papers (1)  |  Patents (7)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (756 KB)

    As software becomes increasingly modular and componentized, giving users more control over what components they install and use, the challenge of creating useful, task-based navigation hierarchies becomes more complex. Help navigation needs to reflect the tasks a user can actually perform, given the components that were installed. This presents organizational and writing challenges for writers and... View full abstract»

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  • You can go home again: successful telecommuting for the technical communicator

    Publication Year: 2000, Page(s):25 - 37
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (668 KB)

    With the right people and properly set expectations, technical communications projects completed by telecommuters are done as well as, if not better than, projects completed by traditional office-based employees. Telecommuting requires ground rules and standards, but provides numerous benefits for employees and employers. Technical communications is an ideal career for telecommuting because it is ... View full abstract»

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