80 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2016
  2. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. One participant who abandoned the sorting exercise responded at length inthis vein:You need to spend time with some designers in an office or out in nature.Design just does not work this way. You are attempting to force a hypothesisand its [sic] just not going to work. People will try but this is missing the point.Imagine applying this to a piece of art for example. Art is no different thandesign in fact its the same thing just with a different outcome. You will thensee the absurdity of this process you are trying to force. Visual designcomes[sic] from seeing or rather observing and feeling how a form, colur [sic],texture peaks [sic] your senses and it is then further developed throughrepetative [sic] experimentation. this [sic] process of understanding takesyears to develop and you cannot just formulate rules—there are none. Iwould suggest you personally do something that removes you from theacademic world for a moment and gets you out into the world where youcan use your hands and mind and experience this for yourself. Take a potterycourse or a wood working course, or an elementarygraphic [sic] design course

      The participant who abandoned the experiment expressed themselves much. They raised valid points. And it is possible that the experiment did not work out in uniform as the conducter of the experiment expected. However, results were made and analyzed, and that can be built upon. I agree that design is like art, but there is more free form art than there is free form web design. It is safe to say that this experiment created an

    2. Two respondents specifically distinguished between “guideline” and“rule,” both saying that situation has an impact on how a design principle shouldbe applied. One elaborated by saying that “Principles are contingent general-izations;. . . their application depends on the particulars of a given situation.” Thissuggests that designers believe design principles should not fully determinespecific design decisions, but can provide a systematic way of thinking aboutthose decisions.

      This gives great clarity to the principles of design. As mentioned they are not set in stone, but they are more so put into play and addressed to explore strategies for website design. You should use the principles systematically or strategically. Content for one webpage may be sorted or should be sorted different for another webpage. Discretion should be used as to what principles are important for certain designs, or set ups but foundation is still yet important.

    3. hough a minority, some participants used these questions to express thatthey did not think that design principles are useful or desirable in educationor practice. Most strongly, one design educator said, “You only have to look atsome of the best designs to see that design prescriptions are for fools.” Othersstressed the importance of a good eye. For example, a design educator said, “Itis imperative for designers to trust their eye and design sense over the influ-ences provided by precise measurement, well-meaning computer algorithms and‘hard-n-fast’ rules.”

      Dealing with website design, I too agree with the importance of a "good-eye." A "good eye" helps to distinguish what's appealing and what is not. With a "good eye", balance, structure, color adjustments, reflections, and much more is noticed. However, I take a different approach to this statement as a "good eye" and the precise measurements on can go hand and hand in designing a website.

    4. In addition, I removed one participant from the cluster analysis who sorted allthe cards, but in such a way as to skew the results. With a sharp wit, this participantcreated only two categories: “Byproducts of nuclear decay,” which containedonly one card,radiation; and “What an academic thinks of when he or shemisinterprets design as the synthesis of a set of design principles,” which con-tained all of the remaining cards. I did, however, include this participant’ssurvey responses, as they reflected an attitude toward design that favored artisticsensibility over using more formal methods such as design principles or designresearch. I address this attitude more fully in the conclusion to this article

      This comment alone lets me know that this experiment was very carefully conducted, and that the person conducting the experiment was a very honest person. As mentioned there was a troll in the experiment, who created outliers, skewing the results, due to the way he sorted his cards and his results were eliminated. The fact that his text based responses were reflected on is important as it adds validity/creativity to that part of the experiment.

    5. Specifically, before the exercise I asked some basic questions about partici-pants’current design activities and roles. I also asked—before showing them the38 principles in the exercise, which might bias their responses—what designprinciples they had learned about in their schooling, training, or reading; whatdesign principles they use in practice; and how they would define what a designprinciple is. I worded these questionsto allow a participant to respond that heor she does not know about or has not used design principles. After the exercisegave participants an opportunity to think about design principles, I asked somequestions about when and how we should use design principles, particularlyin relation to the empirical methods of design research.In introducing these survey questions, I asked participants to focus specificallyon visual design principles. All of the questions asked for text responses exceptfor the first pre-survey question, which gave several options of positions fromwhich to choose. I did not require responses to any question except question 1.

      As stated previously it is impossible to eliminate all bias when conducting an experiment. However, these questions may have created bias, they also added validity, uniqueness, and credibility to the experiment.

    6. If I had used a traditional face-to-face card sorting exercise, however, thenumber of participants would be lower, and they would be less likely to be part ofthe group I wished to study: designers, design educators, and design students.Also, because I have authored a book on document design that includes designprinciples, drawing from my local population might give biased results becausemy colleagues and students have read my book. I also hoped that the surveyquestions would give some qualitative feedback to substitute for the talk-aloudprotocol. Finally, given the exploratory nature of my study, it seemed reasonableto use this online tool to gather information from a broader pool

      I too agree. The anonymous approach is usually always best when eliminating bias, and creating greater variation.

    7. The primary advantage of this online approach was quick and efficient accessto participants. However, there were two disadvantages. First, in a face-to-facecard sorting exercise, the researcher often observes the participant as he or shesorts the cards and uses the talk-aloud protocol to gather further informationabout participants’ thinking during the exercise. Because I would not attend thecard sorting, this kind of observation was not possible. Second, I would havelittle control over who agreed to participate. The possibility for spam is alwayspresent with online media.

      All experiments have disadvantages. However, I believe this was a great approach, as stated it was efficient, it eliminated bias, and provided feedback, as well as offering time to an individual so no one feels rushed, pressured, or influenced in matter.

    8. To expand the reach of my study, I used an onlinecard sorting tool, Optimal Sort (http://www.optimalworkshop.com). Instead ofindex cards, this online tool displays digital shapes that participants can dragand drop on screen to create groups, which they can then label (see Figure 2).This tool also allowed participants to provide feedback through before and aftersurvey questions.

      I too like the idea that the experiment was conducted online. This gives further credit to the research as computer analysis comes into play. This idea also provided feedback that could be useful for the experimenter and the experimentee (person controlling the experiment) with a preliminary and post reference.

    9. Card sorting is typically conducted in one of two ways: closed sort or opensort. In a closed sort, participants sort the cards into predefined categories.In an open sort, participants sort the cards into categories they create themselves.Due to the exploratory nature of my study, I used an open sort so designerscould group the design principles as they saw fit. I also did not require partici-pants to sort all of the cards, but restricted my analysis to those who sorted atleast 75% of the cards

      This further helps us understand how the research was conducted. I too, believe the "open sort" research design was a better idea. The "closed sort" is pre-controlled, and may contradict with the users choice. This gives the individual more autonomy, and also gives greater variation for research.

    10. Having determined which design principles are mentioned most commonlyin literature on design, the next question is, how do these design principlesrelate to one another? Rather than arranging the design principles accordingmy own sensibilities or some separate theory (Ahmed [12], Park [13]), Idecided that it would be more interesting to ask practicing designers, designeducators, and design students how they think these 38 visual principles shouldbe grouped.

      After doing synthetic research, only half of the work was complete. By going outside self, and questioning experts, or experienced workers of website design a qualitative study went into play. Although self observation is important, a second eye or opinion is always suggested/needed.

    11. These results offer some interesting opportunities for reflection. For example,balance, which I have always denigrated to my students as the most vague anddifficult of design principles, actually turns out as the most common, with 27texts (58.7%) listing it. Gestalt itself, despite the very strong influence of thisschool of psychology on two-dimensional design, appeared in only three texts(6.52%), although principles based on the Gestalt laws, includingalignment,proximity,grouping,closure,continuation, andfigure/ground, appeared as wellat a variety of frequencies.

      Noted as well from "Figure 1.Frequencies of principles mentioned by two or more works", the subject of balance seemed to be mentioned in most of the woks researched. I too agree that balance is the most important factor in designing a website, and perhaps it goes into play, and is connected to other ideas mentioned such as (structure, pattern, grouping, and alignment). However, this graph alone sheds so much light on what principles come into play when designing a website. This graph is very informal and useful for those choosing to enhance website design, or even new beginners.

    12. This quantitative review produced a raw list of 198 design principles. Thisnumber might seem discouragingly high except for two outlying works: Leborg[54], which lists 41 principles, 33 of which are unique, and Lidwell et al. [58],which lists 100 principles, 87 of which are unique. Lidwell et al.’s broader focuson “universal principles of design” rather than visual design principles meansthat many of their principles fall outside of the scope of my study. (Some evenstretch the concept of design principle—for example, “uncertainty principle”and “normal distribution.”) If we were to exclude Leborg’s and Lidwell et al.’sunique principles, the list of design principles contracts from 198 to 77—stillhigh, but more reasonable. However, because I included unique principles fromother texts, I retained all of Leborg’s and Lidwell et al.’s principles in the raw list.As might be expected, some of these principles are considerably more commonthan most. Overall, of the 198 principles in the raw list, 160 were mentioned inonly one work. The 198 design principles were listed cumulatively 420 timesin the 46 texts; 61.9% of these listings referred to principles used in at leasttwo works. Despite the large number of unique principles, they were used onlyin 38.1% of texts.

      This is very important in research, as the bigger the size of the study the greater the variation. I can also tell that there were some unique findings, and that great analysis approaches were taken. This experiment is noted to be very profound and useful for other technical communication website designers/ researchers.

    13. This study took the form of two stages: a quantitative literature review thatcatalogued and analyzed visual design principles mentioned in books and web-sites on design; and a card sorting exercise with survey questions (Texas TechUniversity IRB 100407). The first stage investigated what visual design principlespublished experts recommend most often. The second stage asked designers,design educators, and design students what they thought about design principlesand how they thought design principles related to one another.

      These are definitely important questions to ask when improving on a skill. In addition whom you asked these questions to are important. It is important that you ask experts with experience, or someone who has gradual knowledge. These individuals too may care about the subject a bit more than others. However though, questions to the end user may be important. At times experts may know whats best, but end users know what one may want or feel necessary for website design.

    14. So at best, design principles are a kind of lore. Lore is a kind of contingentknowledge based in practice, and as North has argued for composition studies, ithas a value that is often overlooked. However, lore being what it is—anecdotal,implicit, and often idiosyncratic—I think there is good justification to bringresearch to bear on it. Accordingly, in this article I apply empirical techniques tounderstand the lore of design principles more fully.

      Lore seems to be something of extended basic principles for designing websites. Although they are not set in stone, they may be good to note. Bringing awareness to the subject of lore is important, and there should be more writings and research done on the subject.

    15. A few,such as Williams and Stimatz [8] or Blair-Early and Zender [9] generally refer todesign principles as “rules of thumb”; as such, principles are heuristic methodsthat help us make design decisions quickly. But these rules of thumb can be vari-able and ambiguous, because they are based on individual designers’experienceand on the advice they absorb from their training and reading. Depending on thesituation, designers may employ different design principles at different levelsof consistency.

      This statement gives credit to those of the technical communication world which does not happened as often as should. Even though these principles are not set in stone, they give the basics from personal experience, and experience is the best key of learning. One is more prone to listening to one from experience, that may even be considered an expert, than one that is considered practicing or rookie so to say.

    16. This persistence invokes some questions:•What is a design principle?•How do design principles relate to each other?•How and when do designers use design principles, particularly in these daysof user-centered, research-driven design?

      I too agree with others, as these are all important questions to ask when designing a site. These questions help with how and what ways to convey information. They also help first timers who lack experience, or knowledge.

    17. One would think from this narrative that we have progressed from the murkydays of the craft tradition to the more enlightened and progressive landscape ofempiricism. But, in fact, design training still typically involves an introductionto visual design principles, which persist as criteria for judging designs andas heuristics for making design decisions.

      All things change in time, however foundation and principles usually persist. There are still elements and structures that we hold desigers to, in the same way there are still basic elements that one may use in writing a research paper, making sure the margins are aligned, and font is the same. Or even in scientific subject, there are still several ways to conduct an experiment but in all experiments there is foundation in (1) forming a question; (2) Doing research; and then (3) forming a hypothesis. However, the point is that there is basic foundations o structure in all subjects that one should abide by.

    18. n the 1990sour attention shifted to usability and usability testing, such as popularized byNielsen [2], Barnum [3], and many others. User-centered design, championed byscholars such as Johnson [4], became the watchword in fields including graphicdesign, product design, and technical communication. Today, design research hasdesigners involved throughout product development in an iterative design cyclethat applies research to successive prototypes, continually improving usability.The state-of-the-art of user research includes systems that continuously monitoruser interaction, gathering data for designers to use to make further improve-ments to websites, software, and hardware (see for example Johnson [5]).

      This is very imporant history to note. This factual evidence relates to one of the main objectives we learned at the beginning of the semester, and even more working with my clients for Georgia Childcare Association. When handling something for public view you have to realize, "It is not about you, IT IS ABOUT THE AUDIENCE!!!"

    1. Finally, the use of scale can be a very effective method for achieving a good visual balance in your layout. By making some elements larger than others, a sense of order and hierarchy will emerge. This helps create a comfortable layout because the viewer will automatically look at the larger elements within the layout first, progressing through to the smaller elements as they read.

      Conveying the big picture is always important. While all the elements may connect, the big picture may say it all in one. This idea too, helps the designer control the end users focus. I also like the idea of harmony mentioned, while making small elements zoom into the large picture. This can be helpful in puzzled pictures, or connecting wardrobe for clothing stores, and much more.

    2. One of the key approaches to achieving layout nirvana is a clear sense of structure and hierarchy. We've already touched on structure, but it's important to also convey the relative importance of different pieces of content on your page. A headline, for example, should almost always be more visually important than paragraph content.

      Hierarchy is very important. A title grabs attention, so it should generally be more visible, with a bigger and bolder font. A title gives important to messages. The more important titles should be bigger and bolder , and the subtitles are generally less bigger and bolder. For example, this is why the front page news title is usually the biggest and boldest than all the other titles on the paper.

    3. In the printed medium, the most common way to make use of white space is by enlarging the page margins and gutters. On the web, simply providing plenty of breathing room around elements can help make the layout feel composed and balanced. Using negative space works best when you have a clear structure that anchors content together (such as that provided by a grid), as the risk of white space can be a sense of disconnection between page elements if introduced haphazardly.

      Reitterating the fact that white space can be very unattractive, using the white space in a structured manner helps. By adding structure to white space, it helps group content better, but this can be very tricky if you are new to designing. Making sure page margins, and breaks are consistent helps in appearance, and conveying of importance. This maybe why 1 inch margins are formal in writing college papers. Hint. Hint.

    4. It's common for novice designers to make use of every single bit of space on a page, stuffing in content until every gap has been filled. The more experienced know that sometimes the best bit of design involves leaving elements out, rather than shoehorning them in.

      I too agree with this statement. I do not like adding too much content to fill white space. Although white space is very unattractive adding too much content to the white space can create a disarray for the reader. Adding much to white space can cause complex to reading and navigating on the website for the end user.

    5. A good page composition should be both pleasing to the eye, but also communicate those key messages clearly to the intended audience.

      This is basic elements that exist in may other subjects. A professor may not even read your work if it does not appear neat, a job application may not even be considered just because it wasn't neat. Neatness brings attraction, and appeals to persons better.

    6. In itself the rule of thirds won't magically provide your layout with balance, but by extending the principle it's easy to use this tendency towards a natural focal point to help inform the balance of your layout. A common approach is to place the most important elements of your page in the upper (or lower) third of the page, with the primary focal point aligned to match one of the intersections.

      I really like this tip !!! This tip helps you balance out how you would like the reader to respond to certain things. In addition, it also gives the designer a basic set up, of how to convey the most important elements of their site. Appealing to the audience, and getting them to focus on what you want can help businesses push new items, or grab attention to the most important news.

    7. By using a grid to inform the position of different elements on a page, you'll create a connection between the different elements that make up your page. This can help provide a sense of order to your layout, providing the reader with a clear structural reference to fall back on. This is important because when all your page elements have a feeling of connectivity with each other, the overall effect feels more comfortable to the reader, helping to put them at ease, and facilitating their access to the important stuff: the content!

      An important note to take!!! While grids create structure and ensure neatness, they help end users relate and connect content better. Grids help the visual learner, putting things in order, and position.

    8. A strong visual can provide a powerful way to lead the reader into your page, and also supplies a useful structural element around which to arrange the remaining content in your layout.

      Creating a strong visual was one of the very first objectives we faced in working in designing the GCCA website. The GCCA website lacked a lot of visual with repeatative content all on different pages. Not only are visuals important but they also give the reader a reference to material that is on the web page. The visual gives importance to the content expressed. The quality of pictures, also express the importance of the content.

    9. One of the easiest ways to ensure your page has a degree of balance is to use a grid system. Grids used to be the sole preserve of the printed page, but much work has been completed online in the past few years to help migrate the concept of the grid across to the digital medium.

      Grids are certainly helpful when it comes to balancing pages. Grids give a numerical layout on where things are landed at on a webpage. Grids offer proper aligns and ensure neatness that makes it better for the end user.

    10. Page layout typically involves a lot of placement, rearranging and formatting of elements. Many designers approach this process organically, feeling their way to a pleasing end result. While this can lead to some excellent happy accidents, there is a risk that using a free-form methodology can result in a lack of visual balance on the page.

      This too, is something I also learned working with designing the new GCCA website. Trial and error were main steps that were taken for this project.I too, do not encourage free form methodology. Templates and computer based designs work well as they are prefixed in design and structure.

    11. The primary objective of any page you design, whether it's for a printed brochure or the latest web app, is to communicate information clearly and effectively to the reader. One of the best ways to ensure that the key messages are delivered to the reader is to create a balanced layout.

      Reitterating the idea of neatness and appearance of website design lays a foundation for website designers. Creating balanced pages helps users navigate and implore websites better. Balancing pages is top priority for website appearance, when you balance pages content is better grasped and noticed.

    12. Whether you’re designing a page for print, or a website, there are some common principles you can apply to ensure balance.

      Workig with the GCCA website this was a very important element for designing a website. Making sure that the pictures are aligned, same size, and of the same good quality are surely important. Principles for laying a website gives the basic foundations. Surely, some individuals freestyle when it come to designing websites, however, when abiding by the principles of website design it makes readability easier for the audience/ end user.

  3. Nov 2016
  4. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. Designersused a finely honed instinct to fashion objects that were useful and beautiful.In discussing and promoting their craft, they developed sometimes codifiedand sometimes implicit design principles to guide new designers. Accordingly,training in design often involved learning these principles, as we can see inJackson’s popular 1891 textbookLessons on Decorative Design, which discussedand gave examples of principles such as repetition, variety, contrast, radiation,and symmetry [1].

      This lays a foundation for digital designers. Although today, there is encouragement for freestyle designing there are still norms, and principles that designers still uphold in the digital designing field.

  5. Oct 2016
    1. All of these articles effectively and critically shed light on issues of race,ethnicity, and multiculturalism in technical communication. While theseissues often are overlooked, go unnoticed, or are silenced, the articlesincluded in this special issue ofJBTCdemonstrate the prominence, andmuch-needed analysis, of race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in technicalcommunication. As guest editors, we look forward to the intellectual discus-sions and writings that respond to these articles

      I too agree with "eryndesiree" and think it's important to embrace minorities. Race and ethnicity are important to embrace in technical communication because if the ideas of the minorities are left out, then so are the end users.

    2. With this research, these and other scholars move beyond argumentsabout the importance of multicultural issues in the United States and in tech-nical communication to highlight the unique ways that people of color in theUnited States use or invent technical communication.

      This is important because this illuminates the idea that people of color are going to be brought to light. In addition it gives credit to where it is due just as the way women's name needed to have recognition in technical works this idea works the same for racial minorities.

    3. In 1994, Limaye editeda special issue ofJBTCon workforce diversity that was an effort towardembracing discussions of multiculturalism and technical communicationin the United States. Since then, we have seen an encouraging number ofacademic articles that discuss gender and international technical communi-cation; still, few discuss technical communication as it relates to race andethnicity within the United States

      This relates to Durak as both articles express the few and far academic articles that details the minorities in technical communication. Maybe like Durak expresses maybe the idea is just the topic and the minorities works in technical communication are hidden, miscredited, or obscured, just like women's work was.

    4. The first article, ‘‘Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: A Case Studyof Decolonial Technical Communication Theory, Methodology, and Peda-gogy,’’ by Angela M. Haas, is a case study that examines the place of race,ethnicity, rhetoric, and technology in a graduate-level technical communi-cation classroom. This study demonstrates the importance of race and eth-nicity in the technical communication curriculum design and pedagogy.

      This is the first of four articles the author "explicitly address race, ethnicity, or multiculturalism in technical communication. " It analyzes racism, ethnicism, and technology at the graduate curriculum in a class system. This is the best of the four articles because it results in randomness, and gives greater variations of study. There is less random error and bias in this study. In addition it views it race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in technical communication through a public professional, and private professional lens.

    5. Thrush (1997) made this case 15 years ago in her seminal article ‘‘Multi-cultural Issues in Technical Communication.’’ She pointed out that ‘‘as lit-tle as we know about technical communication in other countries, it isstartling how little research has been done on subcultures within the

      This claim provides support of the inequalities that minorities face in technical communication and works. Their is rarity of technical research done on minorities in the U.S.

    6. Thus, it is not surprising to find this same reticence to discuss such topicsin technical communication research and literature. In 1994, Limaye editeda special issue ofJBTCon workforce diversity that was an effort towardembracing discussions of multiculturalism and technical communicationin the United States. Since then, we have seen an encouraging number ofacademic articles that discuss gender and international technical communi-cation; still, few discuss technical communication as it relates to race andethnicity within the United States.

      This claim raises importance to the dynamics of time. The early 90's was a time of embracement, and culturalism, right after the civil rights movement and the war on drugs. There were motives to bring people together one including the EEOC, Equal Employment Oppurunity Act, that enforced workplace fairness. It also raises the rarity of writings in the U.S. that discuss race and ethnicity in technical communication.

    7. Thus, despite electing its first African-American president and having agrowing Hispanic population, the United States is not a postracial society.Unfortunately, we still live in a society that produces racial constructs andwhere people live out racialized lives as part of their everyday experiences.Even though (or quite possibly because) race as a concept and therebyracism still exist, many people, if not color-blind, avoid topics of race, eth-nicity, and culture in their daily conversations.

      This is something I too totally agree with. As a African American female sometimes I feel like there are odds and obstacles that I encounter that differ from those of whites and more directly white females of America. I often here race related comments in the workplace and sometimes even at school. However, I am one who avoids this conversation, viewing this as a life long problem with no solution, as well as creating a commotion of disruption. Racism, and discrimination are very touchy subjects, that some just will never come to understand due to social constructs. Although it is optimistic to believe that we are all created equal and have equal chances in life, the truth is that racism will always exist through inequalities of the present and future, making opportunities and resources less attainable for minorities as a whole.

    8. We acknowledge, though, that many, inside and outside of our field,believe that race is not a relevant concept in our society or field. Some arguethat we live in a nonracist society, and thus the need to acknowledge colorno longer exists. Gordon (2005) explained that color blindness ‘‘maintainsthat race does not exist as a meaningful category and posits that the benefitsaccrued to White people are earned by (gifted) individuals rather than sys-temically conferred’’ (p. 281). For example, in some technical communica-tion classes, as in most classes, instructors adopt a color-blind perspective,reiterating the sentiment that race has no place in the classroom (Hairston,1992). According to this perspective, to see or speak of race is to give life toa racist social system that has historically marginalized people of color andgiven unfair advantages to white European Americans (WEAs)

      I agree with this statement in both ways that giving a blindness to race, creates a stigma that race is not important, as well as giving favorability/superiority to "WEA's" only by color. Although the idea acts to view each other as individuals it does not allow us to embrace who we are whether it be black or white. The color blindness perspective too, allows advantages based on color and not merit. This also relates to "White Privilege" which is unfair benefits that one receives just from the white color of their skin.

    9. While thenation has shown progress by electing its first African-American president,the education, employment, income, and health disparities between WhiteAmericans and historically marginalized groups still exist.

      Starts the argument of inequality existing between white American and minorities. Although we have come far to overcome injustices of society, we still have yet to close the wide gaps of inequalities faced for minorities This statement gives an introduction of what is expected to be read about within the article.

  6. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. An irony of our focus on workplace writing is that it comes at a time when the "workplace" itself is disappearing. To define technical writing by placing it strictly within the workplace denies the historical contributions of women, but in doing so it also denies a larger past—and future—where the household is a primary location for the economically productive activities of women and men. According to Shoshana Zuboff, "home and workshop continued to be the prin­cipal centers of production as late as 1850" (227); with the increase in computer technologies, the prevalence of two-income households, and the rise of an information economy, the separation of home space and work space blurs, and as Joan Greenbaum asserts, "the office of the future may be the home" (117). Many people (myself included) spend many of their productive hours working in a home office, connected to clients and coworkers by computer networks, fax, and phone.

      This concludes the workplace's significance to women in modern and past life. It explains that is mandatory to reflect on the past to establish the significance of women's technical work, for most earlier days home and workplace were principal centers of production.In addition it raises lieu to the dynamics of the future home office where it makes business and child rearing more easily accessible and useful for both men and women considering technical work and technical business.

    2. I believe there are significant instances of technical writing and the use of technical documentation that occur within the household. Many of the tech­nologies produced by industry are targeted for home use; the associated doc­umentation is used primarily within the household (by women and by men). Examples include instructions for computer hardware and software, but also those for vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, blenders, and even coffee mills (note that Dobrin finds instructions for the coffee mill worthy of analysis; see "Do Not Grind"). Further examples of other types of technical communica­tion that enter and are "consumed" within the household include credit card agreements, billing statements, and tax and insurance forms and documents. Daily life is not devoid of instances in which individuals might produce arti­facts we would find worthy of study if they had originated within the "work­place" : there are any number of situations in which private individuals must interact by text with organizations. Surely correspondence challenging billing errors or notifying insurance carriers of changes to personal information are as "significant" as intercompany correspondence and job postings.

      This raises significance in technical works and technical documentations that are used through the household. Some include billing statements, instruction manuals, card statements, and tax and insurance forms, and more. Although these are private matters these are still significant importance.Many of us depend heavily on such matters, and today these are still very much useful in many systems including medical, judicial, and economic activity. However since this is a woman's historical work it is seemed as insignificant and unprofound.

    3. Historical studies find women are excluded from technology as a consequence of the gender division of labor (see Rothschild, Cockburn, and Wajcman). Men remain predominantly the makers, repairers, designers, and users of what we typically consider technology. Wajcman observes that "tech­nical competence is central to the dominant cultural ideal of masculinity and its absence a key feature of stereotyped femininity" (159) and that "the work of women is often deemed inferior simply because it is women who do it" (37). Hence the remarks of anthropologist George Murdock:

      Gives major reasons as to why women are excluded from technology including the gender division of labor, defining technical competence as male oriented, gender prejudices and stereotypes of women, and historical barriers that still exist in gender including behaviors, roles, and duties. Where men are the masters and behind the operations with the "knowledge", women are subjects of use, seen as the "Know-How". In addition it gives the perspective that competence is a male dominance subject. Competence is not related to skillful use, although it takes much competence to do much skill related work. It shows that women and women's work is devalued and under-appreciated.

    4. The industrial revolution brought with it not only great technological innovation, but increasing differentiation between appropriate work roles for men and for women (see Kerber; Oakley). "One of the most profound effects of industrialization was, and is, the separation of 'work places' from 'home places' —and the attendant designation of the former as the 'place' for men and the latter as the 'domain' of women," asserts Cowan (More 18). During the rise of industrial society and capitalism, "the modern concept of work, as the expenditure of energy for financial gain" (Oakley 4) came to further dis­tinguish the stereotyped expectations of productive activity done by men and women.

      Gives historical evolutions of men and women's experiences through the work and the workplace. Moving toward the industrial revolution goals and duties of gender gradually started changing but women and men's main objective was financial gain, and that meant workplaces for women outside the usual household. For men work was still considered a "place" but for women there was much production that took place within the household, labeling it the "domain". Furthermore it delegated appropriate work roles for men and women in addition to establishing sexual division labor to society during the time.

    5. Judy Wajcman, like Stanley, observes that "we tend to think about tech­nology in terms of industrial machinery and cars .. . ignoring other technolo­gies that affect most aspects of everyday life" (137). Ruth Schwartz Cowan notes in More Work for Mother, her history of household technology, that we "do not ordinarily associate 'tools' with 'women's w ork'—but household tools there nonetheless are and always have been" (9). Stoves and spinning wheels are two such examples; the sewing machine is one such tool used in the household and in industry.

      This statement supports the claim of how the perspective of women's contributions has had insignificance even though their contributions have been all and useful in everyday households, work, and workplaces. It also suggests the normal perspective of the word "technology" seeing it as male suited are. Through this perspective it downplays women and their historical contributions in technical communications and dominance. Although the contributions may be quite different that does not make them insignificant.

    6. Overcoming the assumption of agency first involves identifying women who have contributed significantly to science, technology, and medicine, then fit­ting their written works into our history: "gathering] evidence about women to demonstrate their essential likeness as historical subjects to men . . . [and] attem pting] to fit a new subject—w om en—into received historical cate­gories" (Scott 18-19). The main difficulty facing the historian is the apparent lack of women's contribution to these fields. From the dawn of humanity, women, like men, have undoubtedly sought means for improving their work processes, yet we rarely conceive of women as technological innovators. Why is this the case?

      To challenge assumptions for why their are exclusions of women and women's work one must give notification of women's identity, their works, and raise awareness of how their woks have fit into history. Most of the time there has been female contributions in technical works, and those names go unmentioned. To undo this formality we must give credit where it is due, and raise awareness to the trivia and issues.

      This statement also acts to question why women's achievements to technical communication/writing have been far shunned.

    7. As Joan Wallach Scott (Gender) and Autumn Stanley (Mothers and "Women") each point out, history in general, and the history of technology in particular have tended to omit the activities of women in part by locating significance primarily in public and political activities and innovations, the very "realm[s] of social, political, and economic interaction" of such great int

      This statement makes claims that throughout history it has been mans objective to keep women inferior by excluding them from political and public matters. Some examples include right to vote, right to own property, equal pay, and overall social opportunities. Such public matters are considered to be of extreme importance, some of which we've fought for through civil rights movements.This is very important to note because it shows a historical background where men have opted women out, and the tradition is to follow for our present and future.

    8. Including women and women's work in a history of technical writing requires that we contest two assumptions that lead to their exclusion from our disciplinary story: First, (the assumption of agency) that women are not sig­nificant originators of technical, scientific, or medical achievement; and sec­ond, (the assumption of technological significance) that women's tools are not sufficiently technical, nor their work sufficiently important, to warrant study of their supporting texts

      This statement gives two assumptions to why women and womens work could be excluded. There is (1) Agency and (2) Products that the author takes into consideration. However significance within the two subjects relies heavily resulting in ways that men dominate in the public realms rather than the private realms. It also gives the perspective that women are inferior in the technical world and are not seen as significant agents and also suggests that women can not produce significant products within technical works.

    9. The problem with regard to adding women to our disciplinary history lies in the assumption that technology, work, and workplace are gender-neutral terms, and that addressing gender and the history of technical communica­tion is a simple matter of searching the annals of science and industry and tacking on articles about a few women who have distinguished themselves in scientific, medical, and technical fields. But as the work of feminist historians and scholars demonstrate, such terms represent contested ground, and such a simplistic view may be inadequate to fully address the elusive —and, as I suspect, frequently unintentional—biases that both define our past and gov­ern our future.

      This statement raises lieu to the idea of the problem. The problem of women's contributions being overlooked can not just be easily answered by numbers. The issue has to not just be studied but assessed and analyzed. Due to historical cultural and gender barriers between women and men issues have to be further examined through certain lenses to reflect and conclude.

    10. Yet another possible reason why the history of technical communication is so barren of women is that (as feminist scholars have noted about histories of technology) "the absence of a female perspective . . . was a function of the his­torians who wrote them and not of historical reality" (Cowan, "From Virginia Dare" 248).

      This claim gives another reason as to why women's contributions may have been shadowed or overlooked in technical and scientific work. Historians functioned to hide the female perspective due to male dominance. Even when there is female technical contributions of significance of the recognition will go unnoticed. But this was not at all historical reality where women did have great dominance in many writings and still to continue.

    11. One possibility is that women have con­tributed only very rarely to technical and scientific work (and, consequently, to technical and scientific communication). Indeed, Elizabeth Wayland Barber suggests that women's contributions to technological innovation have been hampered by their own productive (and reproductive) responsibilities:

      This claim gives one possibility into why women's contributions to technical and scientific work may have been blinded or overlooked. Women's primary role and duties as mother and household have not changed much from earlier days to today. However there are dynamics that exist amid in today's society, through this claim is still a primary reason for the absence of women's contributions.

    12. Both Cockburn and Wajcman observe technological competence is involved in establishing masculine and feminine difference. According to Wajcman, "skilled status has . . . been traditionally identified with masculini­ty and as work that women don't do, while women's skills have been defined as non-technical and undervalued" (38). She illustrates her point with the example of sewing: "It is not possible for anybody to sit down at sewing machine and sew a garment without previous experience.. . . Although this is one area where women are at ease with machines, this is seen as women's sup­posed natural aptitude for sewing and thus this technical skill is devalued and underpaid" (49). Women are accepted as users of machines, particularly those, that are used for housework, but such knowledge is not considered as compe­tence with technology

      This suggests that competence is a male dominance subject. Competence is not related to skillful use. It shows that women ands women's work is devalued and underappreciated.

    13. Furthermore, technologies that pertain specifically to women's biological functions and social roles have been essentially ignored by historians of tech­nology.

      Adds to the downplay of women and their historical contributions in technical communications and dominance.

    14. Stanley contends that women's technological achievements have been rou­tinely under-reported, at least in part, because "our sex-role stereotypes seek to confine that [feminine] creativity to such 'acceptable' areas as art, music, dance, writing, and cooking, whereas 'real' invention and technology have to do with weapons and machines and chemical compounds created in laboratories" (Mothers xx). Even when well-known women patent such "real" inventions of significance, they may not receive credit: screen actress Hedy Lamarr invented a secret communications system during World War II (and patented it, with com­poser George Antheil) yet "has never received either recompense . . . or due recognition," even though one of its key features — frequency hopping—"is the main anti-jamming technology used in today's billion-dollar defense systems" (Stanley, Mothers 383). Lamarr is far from the only woman to demonstrate that beauty and brains are not antithetical, but despite the fact that women have been receiving U.S. patents since 1809, as late as the 1970s librarians "did not even use Women inventors as a category for filing information" (Stanley, Mothers xviii)

      This statement supports the claims that women and women's work has been obscured in historical technical achievements due to misclassified, trivialized, or attributions to men. In addition it gives lieu to the fact that women are not perceived to have as credible or significant inventions as men.

    15. Women's work has long escaped the notice of historians, leading feminist critics to assert that his-story itself is "deeply gendered" and "presented as a universal human story exemplified by the lives of men" (Scott 18; see Barber, Cowan, and Stanley as well). Most histories, including the history of techni­cal communication thus far, focus primarily on the works of great men —Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Albert Einstein—and the great works of men —space travel, nuclear power, medical miracles, and the computer rev­olution.

      This supports the claim that history in subject is deeply gendered, leaning in a way that is mostly always favorable towards men.

    16. Because there are almost no cultures in which men bear the primary responsibility for child care, this task typically has fallen to women and influenced the variety and type of work they do (Brown 1075). We might agree then, that as scientific inquiry and technological innovation have been primarily the work of men, the contribu­tions of women have consequently been subsumed, lost, or overlooked

      This adds to the support]of why women have been absent in technical and scientific work due to women's role and responsibilities, indifference with men.

    17. Pointing toward cultural biases that have not valued thehousehold, and by extension, women's tools, she points out the "cultural blinders"that have made it difficult to see women's contributions in the past.

      Great abstract, gives reader a good synopsis about further reading.

    18. More important,she points out that, with the gradual disappearance of the "workplace, " it is quite pos­sible that the home and workshop, what Zuboff calls “principal centers of productionas late as 1850" (p. 106), will again become such centers of production in the nearfuture.

      Also great synopsis answering deeper context.

  7. Sep 2016
  8. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. Clark argues that, while the separation of form fromcontent is not a new concept, “no content is [truly] free of presentation” and that“[c]ontent and presentation are never separated.” Within the content managementcontext, therefore, Clark suggests understanding this separation in two ways: (a) ascontent being complete texts, and presentation being output structure, navigation,and visual style; and (b) as content being content modules, and presentation beingoutput structure, navigation, visual style, and genre definition. This separation,dictated by the nature of structured writing and single sourcing and by the techno-logical nature of content management systems, is perceived in different ways interms of its affordances by different participant groups involved in the contentmanagement process.

      This is a great argument Clark raises as we advance in technical communication some believe that form should be free, however these are norms that we have not yet escaped in rhetorical literacy. There are still rules in literacy that one must follow no matter the advancements in technical communication, and we must not escape the basis as they are foundations for learning.

    2. No longer can writers think in terms of texts or even publications. They haveto start thinking in terms of asset management: the strict separation of form andcontent to allow for seamless repurposing of content, data mining, reduplication ofeffort control mechanisms, and writing in a collaborative environment with multi-ple authors and multiple purposes feeding off of and contributing to a conglomera-tion of assets that collectively make up a content archive.

      Tech writing instructs one to learn and to make assessments collaboratively. The learn to go beyond book usage and use each other a resources.

    3. For a content management system to be successful, Hall (2001) argues, two im-portant factors must be emphasized: end users (documentation specialists) anduser needs.

      This is a reply to demah007 as she says..."What type of information should the business include that will also help its users"

      and I replied..."This too also focuses on what we have been expressing in class, as technical writing is about the audience..."it is not about you".

    4. To makeourselves a force to reckon with in the content management discourse, arguesAndersen, we need to raise the visibility and accessibility of our scholarship in thisarea, go beyond our focus on end users and rhetorical problems, and make strongbusiness arguments for rhetorical work so that those making critical business solu-tions will stop “view[ing] ECM as a technical solution to the sociotechnical andrhetorical challenges of empowerment, collaboration, quality, usability, and tech-nology adoption.”

      I have to admit before this class I was unaware of the topic so I add that this is really good idea to note for advancing in the content managing discourse. There should be better awareness of these ideas problems , and the question is how can and what is the best way to raise these questions, and to whom is the best or the mainly targeted audience that we must get through to, and etc

    5. Nevertheless, the authors see promising implications ofcontent management for technical communication: how workplace writing re-search may help transform organizational cultures and how technical communica-tors are in a capacity to provide expertise and critical services in helping smallbusinesses and nonprofit organizations in their transition to a new infrastructure.

      This argument is good for the new age, as we need better ways to reach and relate to businesses to help them prosper and grow. Through technical communication individuals will find the best and most effective way to inform and involve audiences of business, organizations, and medias. With constant change of communication, which is mandatory for rhetorical literacy, businesses will advance and continue to grow through engagement. One cannot strive without the other, furthermore embracing interconnectivity in the technical communication world.

    6. In addition, as far as we know, books on content manage-ment systems have almost exclusively approached the topic from the practical per-spective. In other words, they teach you how to design and/or use such systemswithout critical examinations of why such systems should be used in the first placeand why they succeed or fail. Nor do they consider what effect working in such en-vironments has on writing as a practice.

      This is important because it details the how and why, which most people within the field seem to neglect such common questions and research. With these questions at hand gives raise to improvements in technical communication. People will begin to further asses ideas and structures for learning and teaching for technical communication.

    7. The most important part ofthis whole puzzle—the end user, i.e., technical communicator—is often left out ofthe process. The very expressioncontent managementexcludes any idea of writingor communicating and focuses on information independently of the people whoproduce or consume it.

      The expert is the expert, however even he/she must look for answers and responses beyond themselves.The person who is reading the message is always most important, but most of the time left out on the idea. We are taught in class that audience is key and that it is not about you, but so much deeper and profound is where you have to dig.

    8. The effect of writing in these electronic environments hasbeen profound for technical communicators. Rather than thinking of the end productof their work as tangible products or even documents, they are beginning to see theirefforts as part of an endless flow of information.

      This whole idea is key as the electronic world grows, our avenues in communication are endless as we find better ways of communication and expressing our ideas. Others get opportunities to add their own twists, or to even add comment, creating great debate and ongoing growth in technical communication awareness.

    9. A content management system, then, is any systematic method designed to organizeand distribute information, while content management system software automatesthe system, typically providing “a platform for managing the creation, review, filing,updating, distribution, and storage of structured and unstructured content”

      This is important because throughout readings we establish tools to help content management. A platform is always best, when analyzing the platform one must consider the best possible outputs, through application and practice, and as the New London Group brings up the "idea of re-practice", in "A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures".

    10. Wehope, with the assembly of this special issue, not so much to offer definitive an-swers on these issues as to open up discussions for a better understanding of thephenomenon and its implications for technical communication.

      This was a very good concluding sentence as it outlined the whole objective for the article, and the class. The topic of endless conversation, and open dialogue is key in technical communication. Although questions were answered , the article was a lead for discussion of problems that arise in technical communication world.

    1. Pedagogy is a teaching and learning relationship that creates the potential for building learning conditions leading to full and equitable social participation.

      This is an important key concept as it expresses a pedagogy as a learning mechanism. Technical communicators help the advancing of learning, and research for the new age. Through technical communicating as we are learning in our class individuals raise question, take note, and bring further comprehension, and collaboration with endless engagement, and constant adaptation of learning.

    2. As soon as our sights are set on the objective of creating the learning conditions for full social participation, the issue of differences becomes critically important. How do we ensure that differences of culture, language, and gender are not barriers to educational success? And what are the implications of these differences for literacy pedagogy?

      This is a great idea to raise as we learn in class and through engagement that the audience is key. Although as experts feel they have best answers they know that there are other answers that maybe even better, and they must advance avenues of communication to further reach different audiences. This is a common concern that is a leading and endless conversation for technical communicators, that we must too in class assess this problem.

    3. The changing technological and organizational shape of working life provides some with access to lifestyles of unprecedented affluence, while excluding others in ways that are increasingly related to the outcomes of education and training. It may well be that we have to rethink what we are teaching, and, in particular, what new learning needs literacy pedagogy might now address.

      Through certain advancements of technology some people are fortunate enough to learn and have accessibility, however for those who do not it creates a definite inequality. In the future technical communicators must ensure however that learning needs are met ultimately for the betterment of the whole. Relating this to a more utilitarian view, it would be best for the majority although it may be a sacrifice to another. Although, this inequality will always exist, through "interconnectedness" writers and researchers in the technical communication field will continue to tie up loose ends and address problems using their best skills, and seek solutions for equal access in learning.

    4. The article is a theoretical overview of the current social context of learning and the consequences of social changes for the content (the "what") and the form (the "how") of literacy pedagogy. We hope that this article might form the basis for open-ended dialogue with fellow educators around the world; that it might spark ideas for possible new research areas; and that it might help frame curriculum experimentation that attempts to come to grips with our changing educational environment.

      This is another idea Pullman and Gu, in "Guest Editors’ Introduction: Rationalizing and Rhetoricizing Content Management.” .They both raise note to the questioning process in literacy rhetoric . They asses what works, improvements needed, failures and why. This not only helps students but overall audience, including teachers, users of intended, developers, researchers and more.

    5. The first relates to the increasing multiplicity and integration of significant modes of meaning-making, where the textual is also related to the visual, the audio, the spatial, the behavioral, and so on.

      There are different modes of communication. Through advances we have learned to emerge modes of literacy. Some modes include Linguistic literacy :writing, speech; Gestural literacy: sign language, and behavior and Visual literacy: Video and virtual, and images.

    6. Second, we decided to use the term "multiliteracies" as a way to focus on the realities of increasing local diversity and global connectedness. Dealing with linguistic differences and cultural differences has now become central to the pragmatics of our working, civic, and private lives. Effective citizenship and productive work now require that we interact effectively using multiple languages, multiple Englishes, and communication patterns that more frequently cross cultural, community, and national boundaries.

      We use technical communication to speak to different audiences, and have effective cross cultural communication. The truth is that we do live in a very diverse society, and even though we are all different and from different places, we can still learn homogeneously through collaboration . As society is changing in social, business, and even family networks the practice of "multiliteracies" are improving and has purpose for global interconnections.

    7. The new fast capitalist literature stresses adaptation to constant change through thinking and speaking for oneself, critique and empowerment, innovation and creativity, technical and systems thinking, and learning how to learn. All of these ways of thinking and acting are carried by new and emerging discourses. These new workplace discourses can be taken in two very different ways - as opening new educational and social possibilities, or as new systems of mind control or exploitation.

      I really enjoy this piece, as it looks at literature in a political view. The new literature capitalist must be one for constant change, and continuing education. This attribute is necessary for corporate culture as mandates and communication are on a change constant and one must be knowledgeable.One must, learn to think and act not only in different ways or outlooks, but outside the box, inside the box, analyze, question, and becoming evolving engagers.

    8. To achieve this, we need to engage in a critical dialogue with the core concepts of fast capitalism, of emerging pluralistic forms of citizenship, and of different lifeworlds. This is the basis for a new social contract, a new commonwealth.

      Within the text they intend forms of technical communication should be a public use at schools to all kids of all "lifeworlds". Inequalities are something to be addressed with advancements in communication, and it is not fair nor ethical to leave others in lieu because of common differences. Resources should be equal to ensure childrens' educational competitiveness abilities and skill , and with technical communication there is a broader scope of togetherness that must be reached. However one might question whether there are some good in these inequalities as one persons strength is another needed improvements . In another sense, how can we merge these inequalities, and if not is there another solution.

    9. It is not enough to be able to articulate one's understanding of intra-systematic relations or to critique extra-systematic relations. We need always to return to where we began, to Situated Practice, but now a re-practice, where theory becomes reflective practice.

      This is really important to note using rhetoric, learning of Socrates and his students it was always best to analyze from the beginning, and begin assessing there. Not only is there practice but there is reflection on practice that is effective, and makes things more memorable. Memory has been a key objective and key tool in learning since the beginning of literary rhetoric.

    10. PostFordism replaces the old hierarchical command structures epitomized in Henry Ford's development of mass production techniques and represented in caricature by Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times - an image of mindless, repetitive unskilled work on the industrial production line. Instead, with the development of postFordism or fast capitalism, more and more workplaces are opting for a flattened hierarchy. Commitment, responsibility, and motivation are won by developing a workplace culture in which the members of an organization identify with its vision, mission, and corporate values. The old vertical chains of command are replaced by the horizontal relationships of teamwork. A division of labor into its minute, deskilled components is replaced by "multiskilled," well-rounded workers who are flexible enough to be able to do complex and integrated work (Cope & Kalantzis, 1995). Indeed, in the most advanced of postFordist, fast capitalist workplaces, traditional structures of command and control are being replaced by relationships of pedagogy: mentoring, training, and the learning organization

      This was a reply to demah007 as she said.... "The section of the article talks about the changing dynamics of the of the capitalistic world and how it is starting to incorporate more work input and values, and moving toward multiskilled workers. I believe this holds very true today because of how the corporate world is changing and how much more flexible workers have to be."

      My reply was..."I too agree with this as she suggests in todays society people are more prone to a division of labour, and employers are fitting people to their level of dexterity. The unskilled labor is old with advancements in technology, and multi skills and educational facts make a difference."

    11. This question of differences has become a main one that we must now address as educators. And although numerous theories and practices have been developed as possible responses, at the moment there seems to be particular anxiety about how to proceed.

      This questioning process is important as Pullman and Gu discuss in "Guest Editors’ Introduction: Rationalizing and Rhetoricizing Content Management.” .

  9. Aug 2016
    1. There are different types of mulitimodal communication:

      Linguistic-writing, speech, sign language, braille Gestural-sign language Visual- writing, sign language Spatial- architecture Aural- speech

      Why use multi modal communication

      To speak to different audiences Makes it more memorable *Cross cultural communication

      Rhetoric is always multi modal

      Difference between mode and median

      the median is the avenue in which we use to a mode, and the mode is what we use to help understand the context

      Technical communication is rhetoric because it is multi modal

      *The most important thing in technical writing is audience..."it is not about you"

      Technical communication helps content management. There is specialized content that one must learn different avenues of reaching audiences and branding a name.