Swagger UI and the Open API Specification

Have you ever been interested in learning more about APIs and API documentation? It’s one of the fastest growing areas of technical communication, and it’s quickly becoming a common job requirement. APIs, or application programming interfaces, are sets of functions and methods that allow you to interface to a program or service running on another computer. APIs have become increasingly prevalent, and more technical writers are needed to document the core functionality of these APIs. Continue reading “Swagger UI and the Open API Specification”

“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””

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”