Essay Contest Now Open!

Update: The essay contest ended March 28, 2016.
Our chapter’s professional members are invited to compete to win a Summit 2016 registration by writing an essay. The winning essay will be published on our TECHcomments blog, and the winner will be invited to be one of the presenters at our September 2016 Summit recap, as well as to post to the blog from Summit 2016. Continue reading “Essay Contest Now Open!”

Update on the Latest Website Update

A few weeks ago, we had a snafu caused by a parent theme that was not updated when WordPress was.

What you are looking at is an intermediate step: I’ve removed the offending theme, applied a new one, and started to work on a child theme for STC/SM. It is a work in progress, so please bear with me. You will notice little things changing over the next couple of weeks; I will try not to make it too disorienting.

How To Incorporate Usability Into Your Project Flow

By Maryann Bowen and Pat Gómez Martz

With World Usability Day fast approaching, this seems like a good time to recap our good friend and usability expert David Mitropoulos-Rundus’ presentation, How to Make User Experience a Priority, from the June 2015 User Experience Conference in Ann Arbor. Dave recommends including user experience and usability considerations in each phase of every project. He recommends defining your terms; defining usability requirements; designing to personas, scenarios, and environments; and iterative user testing. Continue reading “How To Incorporate Usability Into Your Project Flow”

Welcome Back! A Letter From the President

Greetings everyone:

We had our annual planning meeting last Sunday, August 16, at our vice president’s home.

What will we be doing this coming year? Attending networking events, mingling and learning with our user-experience colleagues, and attending programs that focus on tools of the trade.

2015–2016 Events

Continue reading “Welcome Back! A Letter From the President”

Website Hiccups

You will undoubtedly notice that there are missing pictures on this website, as well as a serious problem with the comments form.

The site had a major problem yesterday that exposed a hole in our redundant backups: the photos folder was not getting backed up. These problems will be worked, and I hope, fixed over the next week or two, so please bear with us.

A Look Back at the 2014–2015 Program Year

“We had some terrific programming and networking events this year,” according to STC/SM Vice President Sharon McDonnell. I concur.

The mix of networking and programming events seemed to work well, especially as the networking events were hosted by people from the areas where the events were held, so our Programs Manager could concentrate on programs.  Continue reading “A Look Back at the 2014–2015 Program Year”

Awards Dinner and Networking June 10

We will convene at Station 885, which is at 885 Starkweather Street in Plymouth, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, for food and talk.

We will be also be distributing awards to our hardworking volunteers for the 2014–2015 Program Year, and recognizing our Immediate Past President, Tom Glennan, recipient of this year’s Distinguished Chapter Service Award.

There is no entrance fee, but everyone will be responsible for their own dinner and drinks. Ask the host to be directed to the STC/SM table.

Please let us know you are coming.


Welcome to a New Program Year: A Letter from the President

by Pat MartzP Martz Feb 2013

We had our Council and Planning meeting at Washtenaw Community College on Sunday, September 14, so I would like to fill you in on some of our plans for the year. Most of our discussions revolved around planning the program year, but we also discussed tweaking the fee structure and volunteer opportunities.

While this is my chance to talk to you, please feel free to contact me with ideas or questions.
Continue reading “Welcome to a New Program Year: A Letter from the President”

Networking Breakfast in Ann Arbor

We’ve heard from many of you that you can’t get away for lunch, but would be interested in attending a breakfast event, so that’s what we’re offering this month.

If you can join for any part of that time, we’d love to have you. We’ll use the time to get to know one another and talk about our roles as technical communicators. As usual with our casual networking events, each attendee is responsible for purchasing his or her food and beverage, but the conversation is FREE.

Please respond if you’re planning to come so we can plan for enough seating, however, registration is not required. If you find at the last minute that you can attend, walk-ins are more than welcome!

When: Friday, November 22, 2013, from 7:00–8:30 a.m.

Where: Nick’s Original House of Pancakes, 3030 Lohr Circle, Ann Arbor

Cost: Whatever you choose to spend on breakfast

Directions: Take I-94 to the AnnArbor-Saline Road exit. Head south (away from town and the stadium) on Ann Arbor-Saline Road, and take the first left onto Lohr Road (the Meijer turn). The next left is Lohr Circle, and Nick’s is right around the bend.

Ann Arbor to Host a WIAD 2013 Conference

What is WIAD? It’s World Information Architecture Day, February 9. The Student Organization for Computer-Human Interaction (SOCHI) at the UM School of Information is coordinating this free Information Architecture Institute conference, one of 15 conferences worldwide.

The focus will be on clarifying what we mean when we say “architecture” and when we say “design” in research and practice; the differences implied by these terms are frequently lost in translation. Peter Morville, Malcolm McCullough, Daniel Eizans, and Andrew Hinton are scheduled to speak.

More information, including the agenda and a registration link, is available at Ann Arbor WIAD 2013 Conference. You may also register in person from 8:30–9:30 a.m.

Where: University of Michigan, Modern Languages Building, Auditorium 3, 812 E Washington Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan (one block east of State Street)

When: February 9, 9:30 a.m.–5:10 p.m., with a reception following from 5:10–7 p.m.

Cost: Free