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Announcing STC-SM February 2012 Program Event featuring Joe Welinske
Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EST)
Please join us in welcoming Joe Welinske, president of WritersUA ( http://www.writersua.com/) to our upcoming STC-SM program meeting at Lawrence Tech University in Southfield, Michigan on Saturday, February 4, 2012!
The meeting will take place in conference room C406 in the Taubman Student Services Building/Welcome Center at Lawrence Tech University. Map at http://www.ltu.edu/map/.
Registration is as follows: Students - free, All STC Members - $10 and Non-members - $25
Register here, by emailing vicepresident@stc-sm or at the door.
Coffee, juice, bagels and rolls complimentary
Joe Welinske is the president of WritersUA. WritersUA is a company devoted to providing training and information for user assistance professionals. The WritersUA/WinWriters Conference draws hundreds of attendees each year from around the world to share the latest in user assistance design and implementation. The free content on the WritersUA web site attracts over 20,000 visitors each month. Joe has been involved with software documentation development since 1984. Joe recently published Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps. He has also taught online Help courses at the University of Washington, UC Santa Cruz, and Bellevue Community College. Joe received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1981, and a M.S. in Adult Instructional Management from Loyola University in 1987. Joe was the President of STC Puget Sound Chapter from 2006-2008 and served as Membership Director for the Puget Sound Chapter of the Usability Professionals Association in 2010 .
An Overview of Trends, Tools, and Technologies in Software User Assistance
The application of technical communication skills to the development of software user assistance has grown immensely in the past twenty years. This specialization is very fulfilling and challenging and technical communicators are finding their role in the software development process to be increasingly valued. User assistance is much more than "Help." It encompasses a wide range of skills and technologies that are combined to improve the software user's experience. We contribute through wizards, tutorials, and web-based training. We develop and populate knowledge bases and content management systems. Printed manuals and their PDF equivalents are still an important element of our documentation sets.
Many of us are now embedding helpful content directly into the user interface. We are involved with usability testing, localization, testing, quality assurance, and branding. This presentation provides a cutting-edge overview of the latest trends in software user assistance, defines the key terminology, highlights the most important technologies, and offers predictions on future directions of our field. The seventy-five minute session should be of interest to technical communicators of all backgrounds and experience levels.
Development Techniques for User Interface Text and Web-based Content in SmartPhone Applications
You can help your mobile team improve your apps by understanding the basics of mobile application creation. This session will cover iPhone/iPad and Android but can be generalized to other mobile platforms. This session is technical in nature but does not require any experience with programming.
The first area of exploration is with user interface text. The reduced screen real estate of mobile devices put a great weight on the words and phrases appearing in the apps. The first word to mind is rarely the best word. Usability techniques can help you choose the perfect word for every situation and make your app that much easier to use. By understanding how application creation is done you can do much of the design work on your own without the need for programming resources.
The second area to explore is the delivery of your content. For training and user assistance content, providing your content as a web-based deliverable inside of an application has several advantages over embedding it in code. One is that there is no need for your contnet to go through the Apple app reviewprocess. Two, you can update the content at any time without affecting installed apps. And three, you can do all of your work without the need for programming resources. We will look at some of the differences in web content delivery for different mobile platforms.
— YOU WILL LEARN —
* What words and phrases are best for optimal communication
* How micro-concise instructions regarding difficult concepts can significantly improve a users initial experience with the mobile app
* How much text to use within the minimal available screen estate
* How to best integrate content displayed on a desktop or laptop with that of the mobile app
* The vocabulary used by iPhone developers
* How to prototype with the iPhone SDK and simulator
Joe Welinske is currently working on the design of Help for a range of iPhone applications, where his focus is on features that are not easily discovered. He'll share his experiences in this session.