32 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2016
    1. The idea is that by identifying and re-using a motif or design treatment throughout your layout, you can provide a reference for the reader so that disparate areas feel connected and part of the same overall composition.

      This tip is useful because it says that it is okay to re-use design treatments, because it provides a reference for readers and makes the overall content fell connected.

    2. 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 think the problem with for some beginner designers is that the try to stuff as much content as they can, which often leaves the website looking crowded. This tip is useful because it tells us that sometimes white space can be help make the layout balanced.

    3. Put simply, the rule of thirds says that if you divide your page into thirds both vertically and horizontally, the points at which the grid lines intersect provide the natural focal points of a composition. By aligning your key elements to these four points, you'll achieve a more pleasing composition than if you, for example, perfectly centre elements on your page.

      I like this tip because whenever I try to create a page layout, trying to find the right balance and focus is always a problem. With this tip I can create better focal points that will make the content more accessible to readers.

    4. One of the most effective ways to provide a sense of balance is to choose a single focal point for your layout. A good example of this in practice is the use of a large image as the biggest single element on a page.

      This reiterates the idea that balance is key to help you get started on your content.

    5. 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!

      Grids are more useful for beginner designers, serving as a guide to help navigate the elements of your website, which will ultimately be easier for the reader to understand.

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

      As we talked about throughout the semester, with tech writing, it is important to first know who your audience is in order to produce the appropriate content.

    7. 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.

      I think this is how all page layout start. I remember when I started using tumblr, even myspace, it was a lot of trial and error to get the page layout I wanted. But with tech writing you have to remember that the end users needs are the goal.

  2. Nov 2016
  3. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. a surprising number of participants (11) claimed that they usedesign principles almost exclusively to help them make decisions. For some,the reason was practical and economic: “In my current line of work, it’s alldesign principles. We don’t have the resources, including time, for usabilitytesting.” Others expressed a distrust of design research altogether: “I find designprinciples outrank usability studies, which I find limited and subject to style”;“Design principles always trump empirical research”; “Designing by committeecan be dangerous.

      This is something to think about. This shows the unique and sometimes helpful ways designs principles can be used. For some design principles are practical and economic. For others they don't find it that useful at all.

    2. 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 thought this was a clever and easy way of utilizing this method by going digital, since we talking about technical writing. Not to mention that it's accessible and more efficient for participants.

    3. 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 gives us more details about the type of card sorting that was used. I have never heard of this technique before, but it seems to be similar to grouping. I like that Kimball used an open sort so as to give more control to the designers.

    4. 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.

      Kimball describes design principles as a "lore", which to me sounds like it is continuous or added knowledge. It makes me wonder if design principles as anecdotal, implicit and idiosyncratic, are used when trying to keep clients needs in mind.

  4. Oct 2016
    1. 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)

      The discussion of race in this article reminds of a similar discussion I have had in my race and ethnic relations class, where we talk about race as a social construct, that was created to continue to marginalize minorities. I believe race is important in technical communication because it continues to add on to the cultural and social aspects of tech writing, meaning that it brings about diversity.

      The idea of colorblindness, not just in tech communication but in general, in my opinion, makes the false assumption that race does not exist, and it tries to deny the issues that actually arise about race and racism.

    2. 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 supports my earlier claim about how race is a social construct and if we continue to have a color-blind mentality, we deny that racism exist and avoid topics of race and culture, which in the end could turn out to be insightful for the world of tech communication because there is the diversity factor that we always want to include

  5. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. With the first notion dispelled, that women do not contribute significantly to science and technology, we turn to the second assumption, that men's and women's experiences of technology are identical, thus relegating women to inferior technological roles. Addressing this second assum ption—that women's traditional work is not technological — involves a different strategy: departing from conventional history to challenge existing definition, seeking "a new narrative" that focuses "on the causal role played by women in their history and on the qualities of women's experience that sharply distinguish it from men's experience (Scott 20). Men's and women's experiences of technol­ogy are quite different.

      We start to move from the idea that women's place is in the kitchen and taking care of children to women actually being users of technology. This relates to the Pimental article, because women like minorities are often left out of the technical world because of the lack of research.

    2. While it is true that we have yet to agree upon what constitutes modern technical writing, popular definitions often exhibit either or both of two key characteristics: first, a close relationship (in subject matter or func­tion) to technology; and second, an understanding that technical writing is associated with work and the workplace.

      So far we have only looked at the definition of tech communication, as a type of communication that is lingusitic, visual, auditory, etc., with having the end users needs as the end goal. Technical writing is, at the end of the day, about work and workplace, two things that women have been excluded from which is another reason why women have been absent in the world of technical writing.

    3. 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.

      We should acknowledge the fact that technology, work and work place are not gender neutral terms because for so long it has excluded women.

  6. Sep 2016
    1. Rather, human knowledge, when it is applicable to practice, is primarily situated in sociocultural settings and heavily contextualized in specific knowledge domains and practices. Such knowledge is inextricably tied to the ability to recognize and act on patterns of data and experience, a process that is acquired only through experience, since the requisite patterns are often heavily tied and adjusted to context, and are, very often, subtle and complex enough that no one can fully and usefully describe or explicate them. Humans are, at this level, contextual and sociocultural "pattern recognizors" and actors. Such pattern recognition underlies the ability to act flexibly and adaptably in context - that is, mastery in practice.

      This is one of the examples of situated practice in writing. Humans learn through experience and through the community in which they live.

    2. Order of discourse is intended to capture the way in which different discourses relate to (speak to) each other.

      When I think of this I think of Greek epic poems like the Illiad and Odyssey

    3. In responding to the radical changes in working life that are currently underway, we need to tread a careful path that provides students the opportunity to develop skills for access to new forms of work through learning the new language of work. But at the same time, as teachers, our role is not simply to be technocrats

      Teachers are starting to become more adaptable with teaching using technology.Its funny how its almost impossible to avoid technology because its so omnipresent.

    4. We are living through a period of dramatic global economic change, as new business and management theories and practices emerge across the developed world. These theories and practices stress competition and markets centered around change, flexibility, quality, and distinctive niches - not the mass products of the "old" capitalism

      This is very prevalent today as technical writing is changing along with technology.

    5. 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

      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.

  7. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. Inorder to achieve this level of control, every piece of information an organization is-sues has to originate from within the CMS database, and thus everyone writing forthe organization has to get used to creating, storing, sharing, and publishing withinthe system, which means that nearly everyone has to change his or her writingpractices to fit inside the CMS’s framework. Changing the way people work is animmensely difficult task, especially if the changes most clearly benefit the organi-zation while doing nothing clearly beneficial for the individual users.

      Cms writing is difficult and one needs to learn how to adapt to different writing styles. Sometimes the data base may seem less user friendly because of how difficult it is to constantly changes writing practices to fit the framework

    2. 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.

      Interesting to think about, because we do not think of form, when it comes to tech writing.

    3. 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.

      This reminds me of our discussion in class on how most of the user content that we use such as iCollege is really meant for the instructor and not always the student.

    4. 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 teaches you how to collaborate and write for others. Its interesting to think about how your writing is part of a big archive that will help people.

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

      What type of information should the business include that will also help its users

    6. What also gets lost amid all this focus on technology (systems and soft-ware) is the content—“not just any content, but useful content”

      This is important to remember because it is true. Again I think often times in tech writing and writing in general we lose focus on who the audience is and what information will be useful to them. Sometimes people don't want the the run around on how to get something done. Most people just want to get to the point.

    7. Another factor contributing to the difficulty of CMS implementation is thatmost content management systems take a systems-based approach toward manag-ing content/information/knowledge at the cost of considerations for content anduser needs. As Jefferey-Poulter points out, most CMSs do not allow for a widerange of exception and improvisation and may eventually demotivate users

      Further shows the difficult of implementing CMS and how its not that adaptable. I think the main problem with CMS is that its too long and since we live in the age of technology where everything happens in the "right now" it fails to take take into account want the audience wants.

    8. The purpose of CMS software is to cen-tralize all communications practices, to standardize layout and design, and to in-crease efficiency when it come to distributing information, ensuring that the com-pany stays on message and does not issue redundant or conflicting statements. Inorder to achieve this level of control, every piece of information an organization is-sues has to originate from within the CMS database, and thus everyone writing forthe organization has to get used to creating, storing, sharing, and publishing withinthe system, which means that nearly everyone has to change his or her writingpractices to fit inside the CMS’s framework. Changing the way people work is animmensely difficult task, especially if the changes most clearly benefit the organi-zation while doing nothing clearly beneficial for the individual users.

      The purpose of CMS is to turn something that is complex into something simple, without oversimplifying. To do this, you have to take into account the audience that your writing for and also the people who you are writing with. What I think is interesting about CMS is that you have different types of writing styles that can works with the framework. I think its a good way for companies to get dynamic writing styles and backgrounds

    9. We started our work on this special issuewith a rather ambitious mission—to bring together some diverse perspectives oncontent management and CMSs, to both theorize and operationalize the contentmanagement practice, and to rationalize our participation in the broad domain ofcontent management discourse. Grounded on the premise that technical communi-cation requires information and knowledge management, this special issue is oneof the first systematic and deliberate attempts to extend our perspectives, both the-oretical and practical, about technical communication from the relatively staticsphere of document design to the more dynamic horizon of content (informa-tion/knowledge) management.

      Here it is important to understand what the framework of this article is about. The authors are researching how to better understand content management and content management systems in technical communication. They are also attempting to extend the perspectives of content management and bring from a static hemisphere to something more dynamic

  8. Aug 2016
    1. I think thatit is important to understand that no matter where your come from language is changing rapidly

    1. Software instructions help users be more successful on their own, improving how easily those products gain acceptance into the marketplace and reducing costs to support them.

      This is one the examples of how technical communication can help make technology more accessible by giving users the freedom to do well on their own