[Michigan CHI] Internet User Experience 2015 Conference Call for Presenters

The conference organizer would like at least a half day of talks on content, writing for web, blog, tweet, and other documentation, but you are welcome to submit proposals on any aspect of user experience.
The deadline has been extended to April 27.

From: michigan-chi@googlegroups.com [mailto:michigan-chi@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Dave Mitropoulos-Rundus
Subject: [Michigan CHI] Internet User Experience 2015 Conference Call for Presenters

IUE2015 will be held June 15-17 in Ann Arbor at the Michigan League, which will spill out into the summer festival at the end of each conference day for live music, food, drink, and of course movies at 10. Continue reading “[Michigan CHI] Internet User Experience 2015 Conference Call for Presenters”

STC-SM Member Spotlight – Alison Phillips

Alison Phillips, Secretary STC/SM

1 – What is your educational background? How long have you been a member of (volunteer with) STC? In what STC positions have you served? (In what roles have you volunteered?)

I earned my B.A. in English from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, AZ. During my years as an undergrad, I learned about the Master’s program in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing offered through the English department at NAU. It sounded like the perfect graduate program for me, so I stayed on to complete my M.A. and also earned a certificate in Professional Writing. Continue reading “STC-SM Member Spotlight – Alison Phillips”

“An Aggressive Approach to Concise Writing”

A webinar presented by Joe Welinske of WritersUA

STC-SM was offered a rare opportunity to view a webinar during the workday and it just so happened to be the same day that our BCBSM/BCN provider communications staff meeting was being held. Golden opportunity! My manager loved the idea, so we included the webinar in our agenda for the month.

Joe began by pointing out that the information and techniques that he would be discussing were developed to transition input that had been developed for laptops and desktops to formats for smaller devices such as PDAs, iPhones, Androids, tablets, etc. He said his goal is usually to pare the content down by two-thirds. He remarked that he teaches these techniques in his TC101 classes and I then recalled that we also did several exercises such as these in my Tech Comm classes. But he pointed out that this approach also helps to tighten your content for usability and readability for things like CBTs where you are writing in a small bubble or speaking in concise sentences. Continue reading ““An Aggressive Approach to Concise Writing””

Networking evening at Traffic Jam and Snug

by Alison Philips

February 17, 2015

Six of us braved the elements last week to gather for an informal evening of food, drinks, and conversation at Traffic Jam and Snug in midtown Detroit. We welcomed a couple of new faces, talked about current techcomm opportunities in the greater Detroit area, and returning members took the opportunity to catch up after the holidays.

Our goal for the evening was to discuss one (or more) of the free STC webinars suggested in January. Although some of us had technical difficulties accessing the webinars, Mary Jo David provided a very thorough write-up on Essential User Experience Skills for Technical Communicators, and Mark Lockwood led a discussion of one of the webinars he viewed, Sketching User Experiences with the Design Studio Method. Mark described several themes of the webinar, including the idea of sketching multiple solutions to business problems, and how this specific methodology can help work groups create innovative document design solutions. The idea of “saturating your design space” with many possible solutions and coming together to mash-up the possibilities was a thread we discussed as a group. Continue reading “Networking evening at Traffic Jam and Snug”

Review of Essential User Experience Skills Presented at the 2010 Summit by Will Sansbury, Rachel Peters, and Yina Li

(Reviewed by Mary Jo David, February 2015)

Will Sansbury, Rachel Peters, and Yina Li based their presentation on a workshop they put together for members of the Atlanta chapter of STC. A team of chapter members was interested in redesigning the Atlanta chapter’s website, thus the need for the workshop. The Atlanta chapter website being used at that time was designed in approximately 1994.

The presentation overviews three essential user experience skills: card sorting, heuristic evaluation, and usability testing. Although the main focus of the presentation was how to put these skills into practice designing a website, references were also made to the importance of these same skills for designing user guides and online help as well. Continue reading “Review of Essential User Experience Skills Presented at the 2010 Summit by Will Sansbury, Rachel Peters, and Yina Li”

“And Now for Something Completely Different!”

…well, not completely, but a little different for us. After our program postponement due to weather in November and our holiday mixer with area usability folks in December, we will resume our chapter programs and networking in February. To prepare, we’d like those who can to view any of the following STC webinars in the comfort of their home or office. Then join us to discuss these and meet others at the February networking event. Check our calendar for the date, time and location.

The free webinars are only accessible to STC members, and we welcome members and nonmembers alike to attend our programs. So, between now and our February program, we’d like to encourage members to post webinar summaries on this blog so they’ll be viewable by all who want to join us in February.

The webinars can be accessed here. They include:

  • 10 Most Common Misconceptions About User Experience Design, presented by Whitney Hess
  • Sketching User Experiences with the Design Studio Method, presented by Brian Sullivan
  • Essential UX Skills for Technical Communicators, presented by Will Sansbury, Rachel Peters, Yina Li
  • From TechComm to UX: Are You a Designer, presented by Kristi Leach


Holiday Mixer

Michigan CHI, Southeastern Michigan STC, and Michigan UxPA invite you a casual Holiday Mixer.

When: Tuesday December 2nd, Anytime between 5-8pm
Where: Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub
318 South Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

To make this fun and interesting, consider:

– Wearing a UX or Tec-Doc or Conference shirt
– Bringing a Great Success and a Horrible Failure story that happened to you this year…relevant to your profession

We will not have a reserved room or purchased food.
We will just meet in the bar, take over tables as needed, and buy our own (and if you like) each other’s food and drink.

Event recap: World Usability day in the “D”

by Alison Phillips

Gathering to network before the event starts.
Gathering to network before the event starts.

World Usability Day (WUD), held annually on the second Thursday of November, is a “single day of events occurring around the world that brings together communities of professional, industrial, educational, citizen, and government groups for our common objective: to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use” (according to worldusabilityday.org).  This year, there were over 130 events held in 40 countries, and 6 of those events were hosted in locations across Michigan.

The WUD Detroit event, World Usability day in the “D,” was a held at the AIREA Studio in the Compuware building. About 40 participants from various disciplines (including some STC-SM chapter members) gathered to discuss topics related to this year’s theme, “User Experience, Usability, and the Value of Simplicity in Design.” Continue reading “Event recap: World Usability day in the “D””