Author Archives: Ben

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STC President Nicky Bleiel Interview with Marcus Hunt from Owners Manual

Category:Infosec Communicator,Lessons Learned,Review,STC,techcomm Tags : 

Marcus and Ed as BeekeepersGreat interview by STC President Nicky Bleiel of Marcus Hunt from AMC’s Owners Manual. Marcus is quite complimentary of technical communicators and their dedication of producing a well-written manual. Marcus also describes the usefulness of video in conveying a lot of information in a short time. (The picture on the left is from Episode Four. It was incredibly painful to watch them collecting honey.)

Enjoy!

Check out this video (and many other cool techcomm columns) at the STC Notebook Blog.

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Upcoming Owners Manual series on AMC

Category:Infosec Communicator,techcomm,Uncategorized Tags : 

Owners Manual

Ever have trouble trying to figure out how to use something correctly? Ever make a BIG mistake? Ever wonder about the importance of usability in product design?

Most of us can hop into a car and drive it successfully, although we may not always understand all of the bells and whistles. (I just learned that the gas pump icon on the dashboard has an arrow that points to the side of the car where you fill up the tank.)

gas tank is on the left

As technical communicators, we’ve always been fans of (and often produce) owners manuals, at least the good ones! The upcoming Owners Manual series from AMC pits someone who always reads the manual against someone who learns by doing, rather than reading instructions. As a Society for Technical Communication member, I’m really looking forward to the series and hoping, of course, that the guy who doesn’t read the manual manages to really screw things up. I’m also hoping that the series pays attention to the role of usability in product design. That’s a huge factor.

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Brief Thoughts on XKCD: The Pace of Modern Life

Category:Communications Processes,Infosec Communicator,Leadchange,techcomm Tags : 

This XKCD comic is an entertaining look into the perception of the changes in communication brought on by the increased pace of society–more than 100 years ago! It reminds me of reading The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers, an interesting look at the change brought by the completion of the Trans-Atlantic cable. It also reminds me of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, wherein the characters are bemoaning the loss of the Golden Age, no matter in what century they live.

Do you miss the “Good Old Days” when the pace of life was slower? (Of course, the length of life was shorter.)

Yes, I’m aware of the irony in the post title. Had I fewer distractions…

 

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