STC Award of Merit!

I received an STC Award of Merit for my design of the CA OM WebViewer Release 12.1.00 Bookshelf!

One of the goals of the release was to improve documentation navigation, and I applied some strategies from a previous project to change the layout of the bookshelf. I also focused on several new articles about deploying and configuring the product, based on the various scenarios that customers may have in their environment.

I feel honored to receive the award and to be recognized for my work outside of my company.

How I Write and Edit 2

The biggest challenge when I have to edit a large chunk of documentation involves retaining a singular voice. Sometimes I prefer to write content from scratch, but quite often, I must edit existing documentation due to product enhancements. This type of editing lets me take my from scratch approach, especially if I am modernizing the documentation to read more like an article.

The most important aspect of technical communication involves understanding your customer’s role. As technical writers, we sometimes make assumptions about the user’s domain knowledge. We cannot make these assumptions unless we really know our customer base. Some customers simply need to have their hand held with certain concepts, especially with configuring complex environments. These environments have so many prerequisites that it can make your head spin, but that is why we collaborate with developers and testers to implement best practice content in our documentation.

Designing Documents

When I design a document, I envision the end-user experience. I ask myself the following questions:

  • What does the user need to know?
  • Why does the user need to know this information?
  • What is the role or job function of the user?
  • How will the user find this information?

There are many ways to deliver documentation. The traditional model involves large guides that a user can download and search, but the latest trends demand searchable content through popular search engines. Writing article-based documentation helps users find this information. You can check out some of the scenario articles I documented, such as for the CA AppLogic product.

Welcome to My New Portfolio!

As I complete my Master of Science degree in Professional and Technical Communication from NJIT, I am finalizing this portfolio with both academic and professional examples. I am a Senior Technical Writer at CA Technologies, based out of the Ewing, NJ office, but you can read all about me here.

I want to use this ePortfolio to discuss my experiences as a technical writer in an ever-changing industry, but at the same time, I want to show that I have been continuing my studies during my career.