3 Things to Know About Content Auditing

There are three main types of a Content Audit, which is itself an overview, checking, and listing of all the content of a website or other service. The Content Sample is the most basic type, with just a simple and generic listing of examples or content in a bare minimum of information about the site. The Partial Content Audit involves information concerning, as the name suggests, a part of the site, but not every piece of information from its history. The Partial may include a subdivision listing or list of main functions of the site, or perhaps a specific time frame of its information that only dates back a few weeks or months, depending on the desired outcome, project, or audience, and the point of the Partial. The Full Content Audit, as its title infers, is an exhaustive listing of all the headings and divisions, pages, etc. of a site, including smaller subsets and links with downloads, video files, and other content. A word processing document or Excel spreadsheet listing will often do fine for this, though circle charts and graphs and other forms of media are also employed at times.

3 Things You Need to Know About Pharmaceutical Writing

The first aspect you need to know is to produce clear and consistent writing that is understood by all members within a company. Information distribution is a daily responsibility that no company can continue their day without. Another aspect you need to recognize is the ability to know the terms and formats of different regulators such as the FDA and ISO. Pharmaceutical company run a lot of their operations as well as restrictions through these mediators so it is important to know the terminology thoroughly. The final thing you need to know about pharmaceutical writing is how to incorporate drug terminology into writing that is easily accessible and understandable to many different professionals within this field of work.

3 Things You Need To Know About Trade Journal/Magazine Article Writing

Three Conventions for this Type of Writing:

  1.  Study the target population of the specific trade journal or magazine
  2. Research and know about the topic/subject you are writing about; interview sources and gather your information
  3. Make your writing timely and relevant to the magazine’s readers

Studying the target population of the specific trade journal or magazine is important because you need to know who is going to be your reader and the kind of writing they are used to reading in the specific trade journal/magazine.  Researching the specific topic/subject you are writing about is important to educate yourself in order to write about it; you do not have to be an expert, you just need to know the basics.  Interviewing sources such as experts in the field is crucial in order to gather information you need for your article and to give your article and writing credibility.  Making sure your writing is with the time and is relevant to the magazine’s readers is also important because the readers want to know up to date information about the industry/discipline and new trends and developments that are occurring.

Here are three examples of effective articles of trade journals and magazines:

Does Snapchat Marketing Measure up against Other Social Media?



3 Things You Need to Know About Web Developers

3 Conventions when writing occupational reports:
They typically include images, links and infographics.
They detail occupational trends, requirements and job roles.
They are normally very informative and educational.

Occupational reports need to be informative and educational to make sure that people get the full understanding of the field. These reports essentially bring the reader into the workplace by finely detailing almost ever important aspect that takes place. They also incorporate trends to let people know the changes that have happened over time, such as employment growth or decline. Requirements are an important section because that section educates those interested in the field on what they need to achieve to enter the occupation. Infographics can often highlight various topics like racial/ethnic backgrounds by using a pie chart or use bar graphs to display salaries from different regions of the country. Together these three conventions define a successful occupational report.

Links to reports:

3 things you need to know about Networking, Consulting, and Engagement

3 things you need to know about Networking, Consulting, and Engagement:

  1. Be able to persuade your customers, clients, or professionals
  2. Create a pitch that is engaging and interesting
  3. Perform an oral speech or presentation

You should always choose a media that fits your topic. For example, if my topic was how to make a cheese cake, then I would record a video of myself demonstrating the steps to make a cheese cake. One of the key thing to getting your audience attention is creating a pitch. Your pitch will determine whether your audience will engage and find interest in your presentation or not.

3 Examples of Networking, Consulting, and Engagement are:

1. How to be influential: http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Influential
2.  It’s time to go all in on virtual leadership development: http://www.harvardbusiness.org/it%E2%80%99s-time-go-all-virtual-leadership-development
3. Engage your disengaged learners through effective design:


3 Things You Need To Know About Writing Usability Reports

  1. You should not include names of participants, a hypothesis, unsubstantiated opinions, biases, or entire lists of full data
  2. Be as specific as possible
  3. Always help identify a solution to a possible issue

You should never include any details about the users involved in your usability test that would allow your targeted audience to identify them. The user’s information should remain undisclosed except for certain requested demographics. You should always be as specific as possible to give your target audience something to work with. Vague statements about the results of a certain task always lead to more questions of, “Why was the user unsuccessful?” You should always identify a solution to a possible issue because usability experts often have the most experience in dealing with the usability of different types of websites. They most likely have seen many times what works best and what does not.

3 Effective Examples of Usability Reports:

  1. Usability Testing Report on Accounts Management Services Starter Kit at Indiana University: http://www.indiana.edu/~usable/reports/acc_report.pdf
  2. Usability Test of a Web-based Instructional Program: Home Recycling in Monroe County: http://jcflowers1.iweb.bsu.edu/rlo/monroe2.htm
  3. Yelp Usability Test Report by Georgetown University: https://www.scribd.com/doc/92602002/Yelp-Usability-Test-Report-FINAL

Showing Evidence: Final Steps for Module #4

You MUST Show Evidence of Usability Testing in This Module

The point of this module was for you to write a usability report. A usability report, most notably, is a report of usability testing. Many of you are simply doing your own analyses of the website you tested. This will result in you failing this module, as it doesn’t meet the requirements of the module.

This is the kind of write-up I expect to see:

After reviewing two users perform my usability test I have determined that Amazon.com has a website that is designed for users to be successful. I had seven tasks for them to complete that involved singing in to a pre-made account, adding/removing a product to/from their cart, and changing their e-mail address. Both of the users I had perform my usability test claimed to be somewhat familiar with Amazon but also that they use it less than the average college student. Both users finished all seven of my tasks in just over five-minutes.

If you haven’t yet conducted usability tests, do this, right now:

  1. Go find 3 people. Your mom. Your little sister. Your roommate.
  2. Sit them down in front of the website you’re testing.
  3. Run them through your tasks.
  4. Record observations.
  5. Revise your report accordingly.

Why Usability Matters More Than Your Own Opinion

In a larger sense, those of you who are simply using your own opinions of the test websites have somewhat missed the point of this module. Usability testing matters specifically because it’s not you. If you do analysis of a website on your own, that’s not usability testing, that’s a content audit or heuristic evaluation: it’s an expert opinion of a website or mobile app.

But most people are not experts.

By recruiting people who are target consumers of a given website or mobile app, but who aren’t experts in usability, you ensure a non-biased approach to assessing a website. Experts, by virtue of being experts, are not the target consumers of most websites or apps. Everyday, ordinary people who are trying to accomplish tasks are the target consumers.

You Are Also Not Yet Experts 😉

It also bears mentioning that no one in this class is yet an expert in UX or usability. As someone with about 5 years’ experience in this area, and much longer in the broader field of technical communication, I can tell you that this stuff is not intuitive. I’ve spent years listening to users explore interfaces, and I still have a lot to learn.

As do you ;-). Listen to your users.

Final Steps

5) 4/13/16 by midnight >>

Revise all documents you’ve created. Remember that the point of these reviews is to help you improve your writing. This process will be negated if the draft you submit to Eli is the same as the draft you hand in as your final (and end up eventually showing to your community partner). Revise, revise, revise. Listen to your reviewers and make critical choices to improve your documents based on what they say.

Post your Cover Letter and a final draft of your Usability Report to Blackboard.

User Experience: Teacher Response to Homework #4

Grades on Blackboard as usual.

People want to experience information

Think about the way we use information on a daily basis. Very rarely do we pick up information in paper form and read it. Instead, we scan it on mobile devices, websites, or in other interactive forms.  We are users of information, not just passive consumers.

And users now expect to interact with information a company provides. They want to respond to it, to share it, and even to contribute to it.

Technical communicators can help shape those experiences

As communication specialists skilled in translating difficult concepts for a variety of audiences, technical communicators are incredibly valuable to the process of designing user experiences. We can spot where experiences break down, can test out experiences with different kinds of users, and can act as advocates for those users.

Editing Good: Teacher Response to Module #3

Grades on Blackboard, as per the norm. You also receive individualized feedback on modules, however, so be sure to check for that.

Key learning from this module

awareness of common grammatical mishaps + awareness of audience needs + an eye for concision = successful editing

We edit all the time, just not very well

If you caught the joke in the title of this post (it should be “editing well,” not “editing good,”) then you have been bit by the editorial bug. Soon you will see wordiness everywhere you look. You will see common grammar mistakes like there/their and its/it’s like glaring neon signs.

Unlike the common conception, most writers have an awareness of editing. We all rewrite status updates and emails before posting or sending them. Well, at least some of us do ;-). Real editors carry around all the rules in their heads, which takes years to learn.

If you want to become an editor, I highly recommend this book, which is a complete rundown of the principles introduced in this module:

The cover of the book Plain Language in Plain English

On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Plain-Language-English-Cheryl-Stephens/dp/0557537878/