Podcast: Help Authoring with Doc-To-Help 2009, Interview with Nicky Bleiel

Download MP3 (to download, right-click and select Save Target As) Length: 35 min. ComponentOne recently released Doc-To-Help 2009, which introduces a complete redesign of their user interface. In this podcast, I talk with Nicky Bleiel, who works for ComponentOne, in depth about Doc-To-Help. Nicky has been a technical communicator for fourteen years and is now Continue Reading »

Good Designs Have Strong Contrast

Since I’ve been reading The Non-Designers Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Novice, I’ve started to see the importance of contrast everywhere. The author, Robin Williams, argues that contrast is one of the four pillars of design, and that most people don’t include enough of it. As a result, rather than contrast, they Continue Reading »

The Pleasure of Language — Essential Listening for Hyper-corrective Grammarians

This podcast from Stephen Fry on language is one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking, well-read essays on language I’ve ever heard. In the podcast, Fry says he often encounters people who consider themselves high-minded grammarians, who assume he is on their side when they express their disgust of common grammar errors, such as “12 Items Continue Reading »

Quick Reference Guide Formats — Tips for Finding Attractive Layouts

Quick reference guides provide one or two page condensed instructions. Formats for quick reference guides vary dramatically and can involve complex, multi-colored layouts, or just simple text callouts next to a few images. The other day I stopped by a local thrift store (Desert Industries) and picked up a few magazines for $.25 cents a Continue Reading »