Techniques

Event report: Creating instructional videos

Event report: Creating instructional videos

The STC Canada West Coast chapter held its first event of 2019, a sold-out workshop on creating instructional videos, at a meeting room at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library on January 19. Joel Basart, facilitator of the workshop, tapped into his years of experience as a technical writer and training coordinator. He…

Infographics and beyond: visualizing data, processes, and abstract ideas while avoiding confusion

Infographics and beyond: visualizing data, processes, and abstract ideas while avoiding confusion

Visual content should be an integral part of business communications. Most people are overloaded with written communications that they have no time to read. Research shows that most of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and people process visuals much faster than text. After three days, visuals have 50% message retention, compared to…

Jan. 19 Workshop: Creating Instructional Videos

Jan. 19 Workshop: Creating Instructional Videos

The STC Canada West Coast chapter is offering a hands-on workshop about creating instructional videos. Many companies use videos to inform customers about products and services. Videos can provide information more efficiently than printed or online text; users’ attention spans are shrinking, and time is at a premium. Customer support, marketing, and sales departments also…

Event report: Structured content webinar

On September 20, 2018 Nenad Furtula presented an overview of the principles and value of structured content. Nenad, a partner and VP Sales and Marketing at Bluestream Database Software, has been working with Extensible Markup Language (XML) for over 15 years. Structured vs. unstructured content Unstructured content is written as a single, complete unit (for…

September 20 – Webinar event: Structured content

A current job posting for a technical writer calls for experience “using a recognized document content management system (CMS), writing/editing in XML, DITA.” Our next webinar will explore the theory and practice behind that job requirement. On Thursday, September 20, Nenad Furtula will present a webinar titled “Why ‛Intelligent Content’?” Nenad will discuss how the…

How to hire a technical writer

How to hire a technical writer

Why hire a technical writer? In any business, a technical writer can enhance your communications, both printed and online, and make sure that they reflect your best thinking and best practices. A skilled technical writer understands audience, both internal and external, and the way content and format work together to improve communication, productivity, and effectiveness…

Writing a news release

Writing a news release

The tech writing world rarely intersects with the news world, but news writing is still a handy skill to have. You might find yourself in a communications role – having to write a news release or announcement for a website, for example. Traditionally, the purpose of a news release was to attract the interest of a…

How much does a tech writer need to know?

How much does a tech writer need to know?

There’s an interesting tension in technical writing between knowing and not knowing. Tom Johnson, who blogs at www.idratherbewriting.com, tackled this question in an article on learner perspective. This is my take on the question of how much tech writers need to know about their subject matter. Knowing everything about a software application that you’re documenting…

Email or e-mail? How to create a style guide

Email or e-mail? How to create a style guide

Style guides are critical to our work as writers. They tell us how to spell words (Canadian or US?), how to hyphenate (email or e-mail?), how to punctuate (serial comma: yes or no?), how to capitalize (internet or Internet?), and how to write step-by-step procedures (is it “Click Enter” or “Select Enter”?). They lay out…

Ten Tips for Great Training

Ten Tips for Great Training

By Stephen Gauer You’re written the user guides and online help for the new application and now the client needs someone to train the staff. Why not take the plunge and add training to your skill set? Here are some tips from my 25 years of training: Tip #1: write a detailed script In the…

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