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Duration: 30 min.
In this podcast, I talk with Theresa Putkey, a usability consultant in Vancouver, about how she transitioned from technical writing into usability. This is part II of the previous conversation with Theresa.
Compelling reasons to transition from technical writing into usability
Whether applications can be so intuitive that they never need manuals
Conjectures to the question -- Will technical writers ever be extinct?
Making content more findable in search
Tagging topics with concept keywords to increase their search rating
Harnessing related topics, concept keywords, and synonyms for search results
Browsing in the table of contents versus relying on search to find content
Making content findable in large projects (such as those with 3,000+ topics)
Using card sorts to determine user terms for topic names
Using focus groups to gather terminology and function lists from users
Usability consultant versus technical writer -- preferences, purposes, and job satisfaction
Whether technical writing is only a transitional field
Defining different categories within user experience: interaction design, graphic design, programming/web designer and programmer, information architecture (designing information spaces)
Creating navigation that people can use to find information
Expanding beyond user interface when it comes to usability
The Information Architecture Institute (IA Institute)
Content Management Professionals
IXD, Interaction Designers Group
Human Factors Group
Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE)
Organizations and professional groups for usability
Choosing your career -- technical writing or usability?
Teambuilding, including everyone, and communicating regularly
Building relationships in your company (the key to success)
Collaboration, teambuilding, and communication -- breaking down silos across departments
Techniques for bringing people together (the importance of the watercooler)
The paradox of making friends and winning people to your side
Note: Ever wonder why I make such an extensive list of topics covered? Audio doesn't have keywords like blog posts, so people who search for them on Google never find the audio unless I saturate the show notes with relevant keywords.
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About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.