Have you thanked your technical writer today?

The Mojo of technical communication and writing as mused by Dr. Lu Kondor

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What the Internet excels at to help tech writers...

I thought I'd write a bit about what the Internet excels at, at least in my opinion. One thing I find handy are examples of documents (among other things) or real useful technical documentation. Let's face it. There are many ways to write documents. Sure there are some rules but as far as layout, design etc. some of the rules are improvised upon. For one thing Apple is a company whose docs should be examined.

For a company that innovates in technology, it only makes sense that they innovate in documents too. Check out the layout for iPhone 4 finger tips quick start guide.  For this type of doc, I find scrolling left to right so much easier than up or down (especially on an iPhone). Yet so few technical communicators think a document should be used this way. A company that innovates electronics and makes the use of electronics creative doesn't surprise me when they think different for their documents. I have always found their online help very useful.

I also find the Internet useful for general information. For example I found this site O*Net Online. For technical writers/communicators it provides a quick reference for all the titles we go by, job tasks, skills, knowledge needed, etc. Very useful for people just starting out or wanting to get more information in job searches. I'm not that familiar with the organization but the site did make me realize that perception of a technical writing job varies widely between employers.

I don't recommend believing everything one sees on the Internet, yet I do find that when I need a little inspiration or a set of new ideas I reach for my browser. But like any tool it has a downside (for me it can  be a time bandit - robbing me of time to do other things if I am not very careful). So I recommend using the Internet for what it is, a big sharing community with all the good and bad that is associated with it. Take all you see and weigh it in relation to the source that is providing the information. There is a lot of good stuff to be found.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CSUDH Certificate classes starting in June

I wanted to post that the classes I teach in Advanced Technical Communication as well as Information Design start soon (June 2). I love teaching in this program. In the course I teach students stretch their abilities and enjoy a nurturing environment.

For general information see this PDF by the University

For class cost and dates: see College of Extended & International Education