66 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2016
    1. Choosing two or more fonts to use together can be tricky. You want the fonts to complement each other, but not be too similar — different, but so wildly different that they clash. Avoiding these extremes of too little or too much contrast often ends up being a process of experimentation and trial-and-error — like Goldilocks testing out the three bears’ porridge and finding one too cold, one too hot, but one “just right.”

      I learned about combining fonts in my Digital Writing and Publishing class this semester. It was my first intorduction into to typography and "font studies". When creating my OPP and the deliverables for my SLP, it was something I had to actively compare because I wanted everything to look cohesive. Your eye doesn't really pick up on appropriate combined fonts, but it DOES pick up on inappropriate combined fonts and it's jarring.

    2. Most design programs will allow you to adjust letter-spacing/tracking (spacing between whole groups of letters in lines or passages of text), kerning (spacing between pairs of letters), and leading (vertical space between lines).

      I found this really helpful. On my resume, my name on the top of my resume is really spread out. While it is readable by any formal definition, it didn't fit the professionalism that a resume needs to have in order to be effective. I changed the spacing and now it looks very professional and easier to read.

    3. Every designer needs a few neutral fonts that adapt to their surroundings and can be a go-to choice when time is tight or nothing else seems to be working.

      My 'go to' fonts are Arial, Georgia, Calibri, and TNR. I really definitely look into making sure they can be used in all occasions and expanding my list just in case.

    4. Your first concern in choosing a font for a project should be that it matches the message or purpose of your design.

      This shows that rhetorcial analysis is not only used in rhetoric studies, but interdisciplinary. If you can state and argue your purpose and also keep it in mind throughout the creation and evolution of your text, effectiveness is easier to maintain.

    5. You wouldn’t wear a bathing suit to a job interview; then again, you wouldn’t want to wear a suit and tie during your vacation on the beach either. There’s an element of appropriateness to consider.Now, what your clothes do for you, font choices serve the same purpose in a design.

      Wonderful way to understand why fonts are so important! Of course, no one would ever wear such inappropriate clothing to job interview, but it can also be correlated to fonts. If an document is official, academic, or professional in manner, you would want to you a font that is easy to read and professional and mature looking. There is a reason that government documents aren't in Comic Sans.

    6. The typeface is the design; the font is how that design is delivered. typeface + style + size = font A font is what you use; a typeface is what you see.

      I never knew the words weren't interchangeable. This article is providing us with lots of great and useful information that is easy to digest.

    7. The "Font Categories" graphic is an essential reference guide to the four basic categories of fonts. I can definitely see myself using this in my career as a producer of text and content creator.

    8. Though this point is often debated, it’s commonly said that serifs make long passages (in print) easier to navigate visually, helping move your eyes along the lines of text. However, because serifs are usually small and thin, they often don’t display as well on pixel-based screens (looking distorted and “noisy” rather than clear and crisp), so many designers favor sans-serif fonts for web use, especially at small sizes.

      This is great information to know. If a producer of text/content creator can make long paragraphs of text "easier to navigate" that is sure to come in handy. This is especially great to know from a technical writing viewpoint. Oftentimes, we are challenged to make a long text seem not as daunting without compromising any of the information. It's cool to know that the answer might be simply to change the font.

    9. four basic font categories

      It's interesting to me how all the fonts in Microsoft Word can be sorted into, more or less, four basic categories.

    10. So if you’ve ever felt a little lost when it comes to fonts, then you’re in the right place.

      I, for one, didn't even know about the effectiveness of typography and font styles until I started this semester. One would think that with so many font options that are readable and "nice" that it wouldn't matter. I'm excited to read about how to "use" fonts effectively. Isn't that what rhetoric is all about?

  2. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. Some pictorial symbols have become, over time, almost universal— usually not because their meaning has been uniformly and consistently interpreted, but because their intended meaning has been learned.

      This is a branch of an earlier mentioned issue of choosing images that as clear as possible and can not interpreted as anything else. Using icons can be tricky in itself, but there is not reason to "reinvent the wheel" when choosing an icon to represent something. It might be more visually appealing or a clever, but it could perceive as something else. For example, a icon of a letter on a screen or the "@" symbol has been universally acknowledged as two icons that indicate email. But if you try to create another icon to represent email, then the audience might be looking for the universally acknowledged icon and miss the one that is new to them. Using icons that everyone knows and acknowledges ensures that your website is easily navigable.

    2. 3.9 Use headings and subheadings to help revealvisually the relationships among the textelements they label.

      Using headings and subheading is something I never considered until I took a class taught by Dr. Gu. He encourages all students use subheadings when writing long memos or papers. As a producer of text, it was very helpful to write under subheadings to keep the information relevant to the subheading. Now I seek out subheadings because they make things easier to read especially longer articles.

    3. A final exception: bold type is also more leg­ible than normally weighted typefaces when there is little luminance (brightness) contrast with the back­ground (Sanders and McCormick 1987). In other words, use bold when there is little contrast in darkness be­tween the type and its background.

      I think that bold sentences can be a good way to distinguish important information like in this article by the Huffington Post. Because it's a top 10 tips list, the actual tips are in bold while the secondary information explaining the information is normal face. So while we should use bold specifically sparingly, I would argue that it is a great way to identify the pertinent information in a wordy article.

    4. practice in the art of typography

      This video from graphic designer Karen Kavett really helped me understand some of the basic typography vocabulary and principles.

    5. Spool (1999), Nielsen (2000), and a number of other contem­porary observers of Web user behavior argue that Web site visitors don’t actually read continuous text but simply skim a site’s content.

      This is so true nowadays. A lot of different websites from Twitter to dating apps now limit the amount of characters because people just don't read continuous text anymore. Although it was contested, I think that unless people are looking for information specifically, we mostly do "skim" on the internet, especially on social media which has become a source of news for many American adults.

    6. In general, any element in a visual display that contrasts in its visual qualities with other display elements wall attract the eye

      This seems a little like common sense. If there is 100 bunnies and one of them is black, that bunny will attract the eye. If you have something that you want people to see on your website, create visual contrast. The eye will be drawn to it naturally.

    7. Subordinate elements ought to appear less prominent than superordinate elements, and elements that are closely tied to one another logically ought either to be grouped spatially or share some other perceptual attribute such as color.

      Being clear and concise about what the designer in trying to say and what the purpose of the website is will help with this. When I see something like this on a website, it makes me feel as if the content creator doesn't know what exactly is important to them to tell me. Therefore, I don't know what I should take away from that content. The pertinent information be the biggest and eye catching and easily found, and all relevant but not as important information should be relatively smaller, but not hidden.

    8. The designer, then, can purposefully create visual pat­terns on a screen that will reveal to the viewer how the information on a screen is structured. Simply, elements that are logically coordinate ought to be treated graphically in the same way.

      This is one of the most helpful tips that I've learned in my studies of how to design. The brain wants to make sense of the things that you see; it wants to be able to flow through a webpage with ease. Keeping this in mind can allow a more effective website that is easy to navigate. Having a clutter website that has lots of unorganized information can be really overwhelming to the user. Like a well written paper, a website has to make sense throughout and flow with ease through different aspects.

    9. f a display must consist of very' small colored elements, however, the detectability and discrim- inability of those elements can be improved to a limited degree by displaying them on a black, rather than white, background. (Thorell and Smith 1990).Perhaps an even more practical consideration is whether or not an object on the screen can be interpretedonce it’s noticed. In Figure 1, the elements are large enough to be seen, but the critical details of the figures— the characteristics likely to be of most interest to the site visitor—are so small that the picture is virtually useless.

      I find this to be very helpful tip. Oftentimes, I will look at something that I know very well to be a particular thing, but when I ask someone to look at, it's interpreted as something different. For example, my elementary school mascot was a rocket. I never thought to be or look like anything other than a rocket. But when I returned to the school as a teenager with someone who never went to my elementary school, they saw it as something more phallic.

      Designers have to be clear to the point of exhaustion, especially with visual media. Fonts, pictures, and logos can be interpreted into things that might prove inappropriate to your website. Make sure that there is no contest to things on your webpage.

    10. "The following guidelines are intended to assist Web designers, authors, and editors in their efforts to creat Web pages that effectively reveal--rather than obscure or confuse--the information they are trying to present."

      In reading this article and being in this class and Digital Writing and Publishing, I realize, now more than ever, that understanding rhetoric is vital in creating anything on the Web. With such grand audience, designers have to have so sort of background in effectively designing and writing in order to provide an effective website for anyone who might happen upon it. This sentence is the definition of a rhetorical discourse. This proves that studying rhetoric can prove useful in lots of fields, contrary to belief.

  3. Oct 2016
    1. your social media profile

      Can our social media profile be a linkedin? Or should it be something like Twitter/Facebook/Instagram?

    2. You will need to maintain an individual work log during this and every project.

      What should our work log entail?

    1. Eccentric and extraordinary bodies have the potential to puncture the illusion of the universal that UD champions, disorienting and, more importantly, reorienting how we conceive of access and equality.

      Rather than thinking of people with disabilities as "others", we should be helping them by creating more accessible technologies and information, but also by creating a dialogue about what would make their lives easier and how they live with a disability and see if we can create something out of their experiences. As technical writers, we aren't always going to have the answers even know what questions to ask. Going to someone and listening to them and their experiences is essential to making the best possible product for the public or any consumer.

    2. This is, in fact, one of the great benefits of assistive technology and UD – by building environments, physical and digital, that provide barrier-free access, then People with Disabilities can function more independently, and with less reliance on other people. As someone with a disability, I feel deeply and urgently the need to be less reliant on other people, but sometimes existing technology can be inadequate—it can break down, be unreliable, or may just be a poor substitution for human help (even if I don’t want that help).

      Another benefit of universal design spoken by someone who identifies as a disabled person. These narratives should be the ones that are heard loudest and first. Knowing the author reaffirms my belief that universal design is the right thing to strive for.

    3. While maximum accessibility is a laudable goal, in practice UD often fails to attend to the particular as it espouses the universal.

      Again, I completely understand where Godden in coming from. Having accessible information is the right thing to do as to not withhold information from potential consumers. But it is always important to consider the individual vs the general. Even though universal design is beneficial for everyone, it doesn't mean everyone would want to use that technology. (But that doesn't mean we still don't try as creators.)

    4. However, I want to suggest that both positions engender a sense of “best practice” that could obscure the specific sociopolitical and embodied orientation of an individual user.

      I understand that point that Godden is trying to make: one technology shouldn't be placed higher or overshadow a previous technology just because it is more accessible? Some people still use pen and paper even through typing up notes can be more accessible to more people. It's all about considering the audience, I believe, and asking the appropriate questions. Consider what the consumer wants before anything else.

    5. As a disabled academic

      This is the first time we are reading about accessibility from a person that labels themselves as "disabled" which I think is something to consider heavily. I believe that hearing the voices of the minority is always the first step when confronting an issue. Knowing that this author identifies as disabled has definitely got me interested in what he has to say.

    6. 1. UD is a myth; and 2. Inaccessibility can be socially productive.

      After reading the Williams's piece, this seems really harsh. The idea of universal design is so important to digital creation and providing information to all people. And Williams proved that accessibility is a good thing and can "contribute to higher levels of education and perhaps higher levels of income as well."

    7. As I reflect on that conversation today, I realize that the uneven media functionality of DSDJ presented an awkward social reality for the workshop attendees: much of this Deaf-oriented journal was inaccessible to a hearing majority (i.e., online content was only partially accessible to non-ASL users). As a hearing person who does not know much ASL, I find it intriguing that a commentary section on the topic of audism or “audiocentric privilege” does not provide a link to a PDF that I can read in written English (perhaps one might appear in the future).

      I understand where Hsy is coming from, really I do. But it sounds to me that he's complaining about not being included or able to understand a piece of publication. While it is important to consider audience in all possibilities, this was a journal for people interested in Deaf Studies, who would know ASL. They would be the primary audience. The secondary audiences would be included Hsy, and yes, they did not accommadate for him...but isn't that what most people with impaired sight feel when looking at screens? Or hearing impaired people when they see a video without subtitles? If Hsy actually knows how it feels to not be accommodated, I find it highly problematic that he can still say that universal design is a myth. If the DSDJ thought about universal design, he would have been able to listen to video clips or read the transcript just fine. Universal design is all about not excluded any potential audience, not just the disabled audience.

    8. a spectral prospect that haunts everyone: “If we live long enough, disability is the one identity that we all inhabit”

      But if we all will end up with disability at one point in our lives, why wouldn't we try to be accessible so we won't be neglected when it's our turn? I find this argument to be very grim and concerning. If disability is inevitable for all of humanity, then we should try harder to commit to universal design, not try to devalue it.

    1. However, by working to meet the needs of disabled people—and by working with disabled people through usability testing—the digital humanities community will also benefit significantly as it rethinks its assumptions about how digital devices could and should work with and for people.

      In the end, universal design is meant to help everyone. The innovations that come from trying to make digital media accesible could end up changing how we all consume and interact with media. By failing to adhere to universal design, creators are "dooming" society's growth and prosperity. Technical writers can use this information to think about how we present information and how we communicate to people who may not be able bodied. Learning how to communicate to different kids of people is an essential to technical communication. Universal design allows for personal and societal growth. It should not be ignored. We should all make a better effort as creators to make things more accessible.

    2. Fourth and finally, it is the right thing to do.

      I think this hits the nail on the head when it comes to universal design. It's just the right thing to do; being inclusive is just the morally sound thing to do. In primary school, we are taught to play with everyone and include everyone in birthday parties, games of tag, and giving out valentines. Why should that stop especially when by neglecting a portion of the population, we are in turn withholding information that is accessible to able bodied people around the globe? Technology shouldn't be used to disregard or neglect people. Technology is for and should be accessible to everyone. As technical writers, we need to think about what the purpose of technology is and why using it to withhold information from a certain type of person is, in a sense, failing to do our job.

    3. Furthermore, those more likely to use a mobile device for online access include African Americans, Hispanics, and individuals from lower-income households (Smith, 10). If the digital humanities is to create resources accessible by a diverse array of people, then compatibility with mobile devices is a necessity.

      This is such an interesting point because it diverges from a conversation about accessibility for people with disabilities and introduces the classists ways of our society. If websites can not be use on mobile devices and that is all some families have because of the high cost of computers and laptops, then you lose the audience that doesn't have access to a desktop or laptop, either in one moment or at all. This is a problem that I have with website designers. Even though, I am an able bodied consumer with both a laptop and mobile devices, I find it irritating at times when I can't pull up a website fully on my iPhone. The question comes down to: are creators aware that they are alienating potential audiences when they neglect to worry about accessibility?

      For one of my other classes, my final project is to create a website. I know as a consumer that I want my website to be able to be accessed on mobile devices and will do usability testing to make sure. And now after reading this article, I believe that I should think about all possible audiences including people with disabilities as well when creating my website so I'm part of the solution and not the problem.

    4. Second, universal design is efficient.

      Again, the curb cut outs ended up helping everyone. While I understand that time is precious and time is money, but innovation is forever and necessary for the growth of our society. The time that it takes to conceptualize and create a plan for accessibility is important to a large part of your possible audience. Why wouldn't you take the time to make your creation accessible?

    5. Universal design is design that involves conscious decisions about accessibility for all, and it is a philosophy that should be adopted more widely by digital humanities scholars.

      I think the idea of consciously thinking about accessibility is a big one. It can not be an afterthought, but rather a forethought. "How can we make sure this is readily accessible to any possible audience?" is the question that should be answered in conception, not production. If we as creators take the time to ask ourselves this question, imagine how much more would be available to all of our fellow humans? Just like how Netflix offers its movies and shows in different languages, we need to really consider how our creations as technical writers can reach all possible audiences.

    6. Devoting efforts to accessibility might improve the built environment for disabled people, but devoting efforts to universal design improves the built environment for all people. Mace cites the example of the automatic garage door opener as a consumer product created with universal design principles: it is affordable; it appeals to and is useful to people both with and without disabilities.

      Any innovation is good innovation! Creating things to improve the built environment in the long run will help many kinds of people. I think about Siri and any intelligent personal assistant software and if their creators realized how awesome Siri could be for people who might be visually impaired. Were they thinking about them or just able bodied consumers? Whatever the case may be, that innovation ended serving a greater good than intended.

    7. The term “universal design” was invented by architect Ronald Mace, founder of North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Center for Universal Design.

      I wanted to learn more about Mace and how he coined the term "universal design", and I found this website from the RL Mace Universal Design Institute that further explains the principles behind universal design. It was fascinating to see that universal design is meant for not only disabled people, but really, for everyone. Having right and left handed scissors available in classrooms would be considered universal design, and so does wheelchair accessibility in public buildings, which Williams talks about later in the reading; the use of curb cut outs were to allow people in wheelchairs to use sidewalks more easily but it was really helpful to delivery people, parents with strollers, and in reality, everyone.

      The goal of universal design and the principles behind it aren't just about people with disability but anyone that might one day have a hardship. That's why we should care about it because we all one day will need it.

    8. Digital knowledge tools that assume everyone approaches information with the same abilities and using the same methods risk excluding a large percentage of people.

      Forgetting who you are creating for and what the purpose is is a big "no no" for anyone who studies rhetoric. Excluding large parts of your audience can be detrimental in any scenario. That's why I think that identifying and considering your audience is the first priority when creating anything that could be accessible to the public.

    9. This situation would be much improved if more projects embraced the concept of universal design, the idea that we should always keep the largest possible audience in mind as we make design decisions, ensuring that our final product serves the needs of those with disabilities as well as those without.

      Inclusivity in creation and technology should be a goal in all creators' minds. The internet is for everyone! Technology is for everyone! Universal design and considering the largest possible audience is a great start to creating things that everyone can, and should be able to, use.

    10. As a result, many of the otherwise most valuable digital resources are useless for people who are—for example—deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty distinguishing particular colors.

      While considering audience, it is important to consider that not everyone who could come across your work will be able bodied. I think that Williams is very correct in saying that the disabled are neglected by digital content creators. Possibly because we as a society neglect the disabled in many aspects of our day to day lives. The internet and technology in general should not be included as there are a necessity now in everyone's lives. We should strive to be inclusive as possible while creating any digital work.

  4. Sep 2016
    1. At the end of the article, Schryer suggests that students should not acquiesce to genres. We need to able to see what parts of certain genres work for our intended audience, why they work, and how to improve them if they don't. Technical communication has to rely on presenting information in different ways through different mediums and different genres. To fully comprehend the best way to do that, we need to learn and write and immerse ourselves in writing in different genres.

    2. On the bottom of page 228, it is suggested that because we spend so much time in school practicing only a few genres, the lack of knowledge about other genres actually ends up hurting our overall writing. I think this is so true; years and years of writing essay after essay makes me knowledge about writing essays and what goes in it and what my essay writing process is, but what about everything else?

      The fact that lots of GSU classes are starting to lean away from "traditional" writing assignments to broaden our knowledge of how to write makes us more marketable in our future, but also more literate. Understanding how to write in different genres adds a whole level of literacy to our lives that most people before us never got. It is not enough anymore to know how to write essays; being literate in all forms and genres of writing makes you more valuable. to the advancing world around us.

    3. At the bottom of 226, "The person creating the record was not as important as the organizational existence of the record itself."

      Audience is the key factor in any rhetorical writing. Considering the audience is what sets technical communication apart from other forms of communication. The audience should dictate what and how and why you write, and the audience should be thought of in every decision you might make when producing something of any genre. That is how genres change and evolve...with their audiences.

    4. I think one of the reasons that record keeping should be organized and that Dr. Weed had the right idea is because of audience. While many people would consider records as something on person sees, the secondary audience is technically every in the office that has access to it. If a person moved from Georgia to California and their medical records weren't accessible to their new doctor, then a slew of problems rise. It's important to think of not only the primary audience when creating anything but also the potential secondary audience.

    5. In the middle of page 214, "Weed wanted to make medical records more readable more scientific--in effect, more open to monitoring, evaluation, and standardization than traditional records."

      Weed basically wanted to change the genre. By making it more accessible and organized, he proposed a change of the set rules of the genre by introducing a new technology. Oftentimes, a new technology can prompt a change in the way that we can and should do things.

    6. Bottom of 208 into 209 is a perfect way to think about genre. It can be conventionalized, but the freedom of expression is also there. Genres can be ever changing and ever growing, just like technical writing as we saw in the Albers article.

    7. On the top of 208, "if a genre is used to describe stable systems, then the concept is rhetorically unsound because a stable system cannot respond to changes in audience or circumstance."

      Genres CAN'T have a set of rules that shouldn't be broken because not all audiences are the same. A product might need to be on the internet, but it might be an audience of senior citizens who have poor eyesight. How can we combine those two needs if we have to stick in a bound box of rules?

    8. When I think of genre, I like to think of it in terms of music. There are many different genres of music, and we can categorize music into these genres based on characteristics of the song and what we hear. For instance, if a banjo is present in a song, people oftentimes will categorize it as "country". If there is a song that has no lyrics, people hastily call it "classical". But not every song with a banjo in it is a country song and not every classical piece is without lyrics.

      While genres can be very prescriptive in terms of the content and medium, it isn't always the case. Genres aren't formulas and they can be innovated and changed just like musical genres.

    9. On page 204, we get the main argument to this text: whether or not record keeping is vital to some disciplines and also how genre can be used to explain the ideology behind it.

    10. The conversation at the beginning of the article really sets a question in the readers' mind: what matters more, the actual content that you write or how really you write it? If there are some disciplines that don't evaluate how well you write something because of the genre in which the disciplines exists, then why study writing and English?

      (Because people actually do care about how well you write.)

    1. Technologypermeates everything a practicing technical communicatordoes. How we react to changes in that technology on both theindividual and organizational level will have a dramatic im-pact on the development of the profession.

      Because we live in a technological age, the job descriptions and how technical communicators do their job HAS to grow with the advancing technology. It's possible that what we talk about in class this semester about what technical communication is won't be the same definition our kids will learn. The idea of technical communications relies heavily on what technology is available. As that grows, so will the job descriptions. The technical communicators of today are demanded to know so much more than those who preceded them. A job in technical communication interests me a lot and the idea of it always changing and growing makes me excited to hopefully pursue it.

    2. "One of the most crucial tasks of the technical commu-nicator is to provide information that users need by carefullyselecting the right mix of content and then developing, ar-ranging, and presenting it effectively for the audienc

      This is very much an simplified definition of technical communication. Collaborations, technologies, and all other variables take a deeper look in the "how" aspect of technical communication. But at the basis of it, this is technical communication and how it differs from all other forms of writing.

    3. how technicalcommunication will change as jobs require a more variedskill set that no individual can be reasonably expected tomaster. Undeniably, a jack of all trades attitude is not whatwe need.

      A balance between "jack of all trades" and "master" is required for technical communicators. But also it helps if you are able to utilize the critical thinking referenced in earlier. Being able to learn new information and then "regurgitate" and utilize it is a valuable tool that you can use to learn the different technological aspects.

    4. In other words, the writing aspects were thesame. In a very real way, the writing isn't different whetheryou are writing double-spaced text to be sent to a typeset-ter, using a desktop publishing system, or writing Webcontent. However, before everyone leaps up and claimsthey are majorly different, note that I said the writing. Thewriting process and the skill sets required to be an effectivetechnical communicator in each of those three writingsituations is radically different. The technology required tobe effective in each of those situations is also different, andan effective writer must be able to handle that technology.

      This point is so vital to understanding the complexities of technical communcation, I think. The act of writing and learning to write effectively really never changes. The amount of context given, what the audience needs and/or wants, the process in which a product is made is the real complexity of technical communication in my opinion. Having an arsenal of skills to know that one audience may need a tweet while the other needs a brochure and then how to create good effective versions of those is valuable. Understanding your personal writing process is the start to all of this and also writing on different mediums and seeing how that effects your process.

    5. coming a spe-cialist is not required—although senior people probablywill specialize in one area—but all writers must be able tofluently discuss issues pertinent to each area.

      I think that a lot of people would find this surprising. How can someone who isn't a expert on a certain subject know how to write about that subject? Well, the answer is critical thinking! The ability to comprehend, analyze, and then synsthesize information is such a valuable tool in learning new information and also being able to write about something you aren't necessarily an "expert" on. Rhetors and technical communicators should be able to do this with any information given to them.

    6. hnical com-municators need to continue to learn new technologies andtools to remain competitive and employable

      This really proves the argument of the article; technical communication is evolving faster than anyone expected and to be effective, one must stay on top of the ever-growing world of technology as well as have the ability to write for it. Complacency doesn't work here.

    7. fore the mid-199O's, simply being able to write was sufficient to gethired. That text-focused view is no longer common. Whatemployers expect—and what graduates need to be com-petitive in the job market—is an expanded set of skills tocomplement their writing ability, skills that depend onvarious aspects of technology.

      A teacher in high school always told us that the number one complaint companies had about new hires was their ability to write effectively was very very low. The knowledge to know how to write effectively plus the knowledge of technologies and how to write with them is the ticket to being a great and valuable employee.

    8. But the panelists all agreed thattechnical communicators needed to move away from sim-ply writing and into the areas represented by the fourspokes.

      Technical communication isn't just for English majors; it's interdisciplinary!

    9. But many writers still want to clingto variations of the locked door; they want to be left alone andgiven enough time to carefully craft sentences and paragraphsinto beautiful, tight, coherent prose. Unlike programmerswho have been forced to work on teams, many writers stillwork alone or with only one or two other writers, and havethus been able to maintain the craftsman attitude. But thisattitude is, in the end, detrimental to their position within acompany and recognition by coworkers.

      The idea of technical communication as a collaborative effort is another thing that is new not only to technical communication, but the profession of writing in general. We don't see many instances of cowriting, but in technical communication, it is almost essential. Going through drafts and ideas and different suggestions and input only makes the product stronger. Collaboration is an important part of being an effective technical communicator.

    10. Weiss (2002) argues that the "artistic impulse" of mostwriters can prove to be the "greatest barrier to productivityand may even compromise the quality of the communica-tion products" (p. 3). Too many writers seem eager to craft"perfect" prose with the writing aspects overriding thecommunication issues inherent in the specific audienceand task.

      When writing for academia, especially in the higher levels, we are told to be eloquent and "perfect" and sound dignified, but when it comes to technical communication, efficiency and concision is key. The word choice and sounded lofty so you can make a word or page count isn't the most important thing: the audience is. Getting the point across is. Audience and task are the central ideas of technical communication, which makes it hard because we have to relearn how to write. That's one of the reasons tech writers are in such high demand; the ability to write concisely and efficiently is not a small task.

    11. contextual issues surroundingaudience needs and effective communication must drivethe choice and use of technology

      This is where a discussion of genre and rhetorical problem solving can be used. Based on the rhetorical situation, a effective technical communicator must consider all things in order to provide the most compelling, engaging, and appropriate response/argument/product. Which kind of technology would be best is an important factor in technical communication in this age.

    12. Traditionally, the focus of technical communica-tors has been on writing documents. However, inrecent years, technical communicators have beenwidening their scope and expanding into areassuch as interface and interaction design, information archi-tecture, information design, and usability. I

      As my classmate says, technical communication is ever-growing and ever-changing. What "technical writing" was 20, even 10 years ago isn't necessarily all that it is now. Technology is growing and evolving, and so does our needs of technical writing. Another thing to note is the change from "technical writing" to "technical communication". Now, it seems that it is more about a dialogue than rules and/or instructions

  5. Aug 2016
    1. Efficiency and concision=technical communication goals?

    2. Providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of how technical the task is or even if technology is used to create or distribute that communication.

      This is what I've always thought technical writing consisted of. It's nice to know that we just won't be writing instructions all semester!