TechWhirler Recap for September 9th

Subject: TechWhirler Recap for September 9th
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 13:54:54 -0400

This week’s update is supported by Platinum sponsor Adobe & RoboHelp 9 |

(Standing in for Al Martine this week is TechWhirler and resident cat
herder, Connie Giordano. So fair warning, this recap is probably not as
funny as usual).

We have this way of tying our projects to the monthly themes we focus on on
the website. Sometimes it’s on purpose, sometime it’s purely coincidental.
We’ll let you guess which one the go-live of 3.0 represents.

September focuses on “A User’s Experience in Design” and what could be more
appropriate than starting off with a shiny new website, that we think is an
improved user experience? We eliminated the Google Adwords, stopped the
flashing ads, started optimizing for SEO, and chose a theme and a platform
that presents well on large and small screens. All worthwhile design
changes. As a result, it benchmarks at 62% faster than the average website
(woo hoo!), and should be easier to share with your friends. We also wanted
to improve how we promote our writers (a round of applause for the Special
Writers Unit), and now you can search archives of their work, and even see
what they look like.

We’ve got some interesting UX related topics coming up this month, so you
need to stick around if you like, want or do usability- and user
experience-related stuff. In the meantime, check out what’s there and feel
free to comment, like, or follow. Geoff Hart gives us Part 2 of Personas and
the 5Ws, and look for a really interesting piece from Ryan Minaker about
making the UI childishly easy to use. You know as easy as herding cats.

By the way, we’re still trying to find an event calendar that displays time
zones of the events and works with WordPress. We’re not sure why that
little usability detail keeps escaping developers, but if you know of one,
feel free to pass it along.

*Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl*:

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Inside TechWhirl newsletter (all about our work) |
What You’re Talking About

Quick shout outs to our Tech Writers and their discussions in our email
discussion group <>:

- Erica Yanovich has a multi-faceted dilemma regarding “real books” that
her organization’s chief scientist wants to produce. Word or TeX and why
would the chief scientist want to spend time setting styles and doing
formatting? A lively discussion regarding Word’s ability to do advanced
publication-ready formatting, versus TeX’s native functionality designed for
- Donna McManus was actually asking for opinions on “Using the
conjunction OR in mutually exclusive options,” and of course TechWhirlers
happily and profusely obliged with opinions and ideas to provide clarity
when users can take different options to produce the desired result.
- Julie Stickler is waiting with baited breath for the next edition of
the Microsoft Manual of Style for answers to her question on “Standards -
cloud computing.” Elizabeth Whitmire of Microsoft gave us a sneak peak
answer from the 4th edition: “We standardized on lowercase, no hyphen:
cloud computing.”

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

· New: “Personas and the five W’s: Developing Content that Meets
Reader Needs, Pt. 1” by Geoff Hart |

· Classic: from “Adaptive Technologies for the Visually Impaired:
The Role of Technical Communicators” by Eric and Deb Ray |

· Poll question: Do you enjoy collaboration or working alone |

Upcoming Articles

- New: “Book Review – Wikis: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit” by Tony
- New: ““Personas and the five W’s: Developing Content that Meets
Reader Needs, Pt. 2” by Geoff Hart
- Poll Question: Do you play a role in your organization’s product/user
experience design process?


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors. They make this
experience unique and user-friendly.

*Platinum A*: Adobe

*Platinum B: *Madcap, ComponentOne**

*Gold*: Society for Technical Communication (STC), EC Software , Vancouver
Island University

> Cat herders (don’t) have all the fun.

Online Magazine and Discussions for Today's Tech Writer

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