document design: I don't know what I don't know

Subject: document design: I don't know what I don't know
From: Becca <becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: tech2wr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 17:34:39 -0700 (PDT)

I am in a technical communication certificate program at our local community college. I'm trying to put together a proposal for an independent study class on document design from a writer's viewpoint. (My documents are serviceable, but not particularly inspired). The school has several courses that relate to what I want to learn: for example, there's a typography class and a document design class, but they're all part of the Graphics Design curriculum, and (from the few courses I've taken in that curriculum) very design-focused, not document-focused. I'm not a graphics designer, and not interested in the design of type faces, for example, but I know I need to know more about specing type faces beyond Arial and Times New Roman. the trouble is, I don't know what I don't know - I'm not sure where to begin asking the questions, much less finding answers.

So - if you were designing a 3-credit course in designing technical documentation, what sorts of topics would you include?



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