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Writing Progression [clear filter]
Monday, May 16
 

2:15pm PDT

Applying Minimalist Writing Principles to Improve User's Guides: Readers and Writers Win
In this progression, Michael will show how he applied minimalist writing principles to User's Guides to reduce page count and improve clarity. As a result, readers can perform relevant tasks right away. Applying these principles not only enables readers to get the information they need more readily, but produces topics that are better suited for reading on mobile devices. He worked with a team dedicated to promulgating these principles throughout our organization and they produced a strategy for following these principles when writing new material, which resulted in a more efficient writer workflow.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Harvey

Michael Harvey

Principal Technical Writer, SAS
At SAS, I am documentation project leader for risk management solutions. I also teach Information Architecture for the Duke Continuing Studies Technical Communication certificate program. Previously, I worked as a manager and a writer for EMC. I have a BA in English and Psychology... Read More →



Monday May 16, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Grand E

2:15pm PDT

FAQs Killed the Documentation Star
Many organizations use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as a replacement for thorough documentation. In this progression, Stephanie will explain the pitfalls of relying on a list of questions rather than delivering solid help resources. She will then explain that FAQs—when done well—can serve as useful additions to stellar documentation. Finally, we will discuss best practices for organizing FAQ questions and capitalizing on their metrics. Just like video taught radio stars how to adjust, attendees who participate in this session will learn how to adapt and write the kind of FAQs users need.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Saylor

Stephanie Saylor

Technical Writer, Next Century Corporation
Stephanie started her career as a technology and transportation reporter. Her work has been nationally syndicated by the American City Business Journals. Since 2007, she has worked as a technical writer for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense... Read More →



Monday May 16, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Grand E

2:15pm PDT

Getting Creative with Technical Communications
Whether it’s a contract, report, or documentation, technical communication pieces aren’t always fun to read. Sometimes they’re a last resort that people reference only because they have problems or questions. This begs the question: How do you make your audience want to use your communications? In this session, we’ll introduce audience analysis and information design strategies to help you make communications enticing and easy to digest.

Speakers
avatar for Liz Roscovius

Liz Roscovius

Director of Global Communications, D2 (Documents & Design)
I started my career in visual design. Over the years, education and experience have allowed me the opportunity to expand into journalism, copywriting, marketing, advertising and, finally, project and team management. I don't have all the answers but do love helping and inspiring others... Read More →



Monday May 16, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Grand E

2:15pm PDT

Risk Communication and Miscommunication with Electronic Media
Emails and text messages possess characteristics of letters, memoranda, and the telephone. They have also acquired new ones, including the integration of personal and business styles/formats, insertion of personal with business content, single issue responses, unreflective content, and minimalistic data. As a result, electronic messages tend to be "information poor," writer rather than reader oriented, and asynchronous. This session discusses these findings and applies them to new cases, including the 2015 Chicago landslide and General Motors switch incident. We will also discuss the major problems inherent in communicating electronically and provide suggestions for overcoming them.

Speakers
avatar for Carolyn Boiarsky

Carolyn Boiarsky

Professor, Purdue University Northwest


Monday May 16, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Grand E

2:15pm PDT

Simultaneous Product and Information Development
During any development cycle, technical communicators are challenged to have the information piece of the product ready to go when the code is completed. Using an iterative, incremental process significantly reduces lag time, simplifies the review process, resulting in a more polished product. This progression outlines the workflow process Janice used over the last several years to design and develop content. With this workflow, you can more easily keep up with new development, manage a relatively large amount of content, and provide resources for other functions such as QA and training.

Speakers
avatar for Janice Manwiller

Janice Manwiller

Principal Technical Writer, Sqrrl
After a couple of years of using my English degree to eke out a living in legal publishing and television listings, I quit and got my MS in Technical Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Since then, I've worked as a technical writer at mostly smaller software companies... Read More →



Monday May 16, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Grand E