Notes from Google I/O

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in Articles, Uncategorized |

Last week was Google’s big week for announcements. I had tried to buy a ticket for the conference a couple months ago. The morning that tickets were scheduled to go on sale I got set up with my laptop about thirty minutes in advance. Internet connection: check. Registration page bookmarked: check. Google Wallet set up: check. Accurate time clock: check. At exactly 7am I refreshed the registration page and clicked the button to register....

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Mobile User Assistance Online Course

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 in Announcements, Uncategorized |

I be will teaching an online-only course through the U.C. Silicon Valley Extension. It starts the week of July 11 and goes through the week of August 17. All the coursework is done online. Description Smartphones have spurred the rapid emergence of a huge new software segment: the mobile application. This new field and its...

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Document Design Class at Bellevue College

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Announcements, Uncategorized |

I’ll be teaching Fundamentals of Document Design at Bellevue College next month. The five-session class starts July 25. Designed for both aspiring and experienced technical writers and editors, this course provides an introduction to the basic elements of document design, including layout, color, and typography for print documentation. Students gain...

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Quick Editing for Executive Summaries of Usability Video Sessions

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in Uncategorized |

Over the past year or so I have been doing a lot of work with video. Most of that has been for instructional content delivered via downloads and streaming media. In all of those cases I have used video editing tools that provide a timeline and a robust set of controls for enhancing the quality of the final production. I wouldn’t do it any other way. Or so I thought. I recently conducted user research that included video recording of interviews...

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First contact user assistance

Posted by on Jun 2, 2012 in Articles, Uncategorized |

One of the more interesting trends in UA is the use of a customer email broadcast to provide Getting Started tips. After a person buys a product or subscribes to a service the vendor sends out an HMTL email message with Getting Started tips. When these kinds of messages are done thoughtfully I think they can be extremely valuable. Apple does a really good job with this. I made online mail orders for both the iPad and iPhone 4. Before I received...

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