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Technical Communication

STC New England Presentation: "How Augmented Reality Is Transforming The Ways Companies Create, Sell, Operate, and Service Products"

I composed this PowerPoint presentation for the Society of Technical Communication's New England Chapter with PTC's Victor Gerdes, Vice President of Product Management for ThingWorx, PTC's Internet of Things (IoT) platform software. I presented with Victor on how Augmented Reality (AR) can be used to transform technical communication and provide richer experiences to people who currently rely on paper or online guides, video tutorials, and in-person or virtual instruction to learn new processes and tools to solve problems.

STC Intercom Article, "Millennials' Outlook on Technical Communication"

In the summer of 2016, I interviewed technical communicators in their twenties and thirties, the millennial generation, and wrote about their perceptions of their profession and careers in an article for the October 2016 issue of Society for Technical Communication's Intercom Magazine. I enjoyed learning why each person entered the technical communication profession, and I learned a lot about the different types of personalities attracted to technical writing, which helped me develop the narrative for this article. I balanced out the millennial viewpoints with one from a Baby Boomer, who is encouraged by what he sees in the upcoming generation of technical communicators.

Canary Systems 2015 User's Guides

Below are the links to user’s guides I wrote for Canary Systems, Inc. for their 2015 release. Because I am bound by a confidentiality agreement, I cannot provide physical copies directly to others without written consent from the company. However, you can download the guides I created using the links below.

Graduate Thesis Portfolio Proposal: "Technical Communicators as Wordsmiths of Tools"

This is my graduate thesis portfolio proposal, written in 2014 for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. I consulted many professional journals, including Technical Communication Quarterly, The Journal of Business and Technical Communication, IEEE's Transactions on Professional Communication. In addition, I consulted my graduate, undergraduate, and teaching textbooks in technical communication.

English Clearinghouse Prototype Website Final Usability Report

I wrote this usability report in late 2014. It includes the test plan, personas, heuristic evaluations, and results of the usability test I performed for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's English department's Job Clearinghouse website prototype, developed from May to September 2014. I included various appendices to the report to show the forms for test I administered, including questionnaires, product reaction words, and agreements to be recorded. I observed how users interact with technology and what their reactions are to a website that's still in a prototype stage. I found their reactions to be invaluable in determining what users expect from a webpage and how they react to a piece of technology that was above their abilities to use it.

This report helped the head of the English department and the university's IT department see the benefits of having a dedicated web portal for English and Professional Writing students, and that it is a feasible project for replacing a more rudimentary and restrictive wiki.

iFixit Repair Guide: Printer Disassembly

I worked on two repair guides for iFixit.com in late 2013. In this guide, I wrote instructions on how to take apart the exterior of an Epson Stylus C84 printer. This was a prerequisite guide to other repairs for the device. Writing this guide taught me the best practices of usability: writing concisely, in easy to understand language, while being very specific with my instruction. I took great pains to indicate where users should position their fingers and tools in order to properly remove the plastic panels. The guide was formatted using a simplified wiki. These instructions helped the users of this particular printer become familiar with the process of accessing the main components, which gives a foundation to take on more complex repairs.

iFixit Repair Guide: Porous Pad Maintenance

This is the other guide I wrote for iFixit.com in the fall of 2013. Here, I instructed users to carefully remove the porous pad from the base of the Epson Stylus C84 printer, clean it, and reinstall it. The purpose of this guide was to maintain the printer’s top performance by cleaning a frequently inked component. I took great pains to write cautions and prepare users for the messy job. I practiced the concise and specific writing that go hand-in-hand with the best usability practices. This repair guide used a simplified wiki formatting. This guide helps users extend the life of their printer by performing maintenance on one of the wear items. Cleaning the porous pads will ensure better quality printouts and a longer service life compared to an unmaintained printer.

Articulating Technical Communicators’ Value to Employers

This is the academic progression paper I submitted to the Society for Technical Communication as part of their Summit 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. I focused on four principles both novice and technical communicators can use to prove how valuable they are to their employers. I combined the four principles from Robert Reich’s 1991 book The Work of Nations with aspects of iFixit.com to prove them in action. This paper gave way to a roundtable presentation I gave at the summit on May 20, 2014. This paper gives technical communicators a case study of how iFixit uses the four principles to show how it is an advocate for users and individuals can use the strategies to prove themselves as a valuable asset to their employers.

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