Virtual Track-2014

virtual-trackFor the first time, STC is offering a way to attend part of the Summit from the comfort of your home or office. The Virtual Track includes 10 carefully selected courses from a cross-section of the overall Summit program. Attendees to the Virtual Track will log in on their computer and be able to follow along in real time with both the audio and the presentations. Watch one or watch them all; you can log in and log out as your schedule allows. There will even be a moderator online with you so you can ask questions during the Q&A period as well!

If you have a restricted travel budget, scheduling problems, or are otherwise just unable to travel to Phoenix, now you can still join in the Summit live with the Virtual Track Package. And to make it even better, you’ll get access to Summit@aClick, our collection of recordings of most of the sessions from this year’s Summit, included with your purchase! (Summit@aClick is usually available 6-8 weeks after the conference.)

See below for the Virtual Track schedule, and register now! Pricing for individuals is $375 for STC members and $895 for nonmembers and can be done online. If you’d like to register as a group (whether in one office or multiple locations), group pricing is $795 and can be done by emailing Lloyd Tucker. The cutoff date for Virtual Track registration is Thursday, 15 May.

Virtual Track

Information Everywhere: Flexible Content with Responsive Design, Nicky Bleiel, ComponentOne
Targeting Documentation to Your Users’ Goal, Alyssa Fox, NetIQ Corporation
Getting to Know You: User Research Fundamentals Anyone Can Use, Karen Bachmann, Perficient
The XPath to XSL Style, Elizabeth Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions
Bridging the Gap: Connecting Industry to the Classroom, Brittany McCrigler, iFixit
Google Glass and Augmented Reality: Tools for Your Content Strategy Tool Kit, Marta Rauch, Oracle
Monetizing Your Content, Jack Molisani, ProSpring / LavaCon
Designing UI Content: Applying Progressive Information Disclosure, Andrea Ames, IBM
Motivating and Encouraging Users, Scott DeLoach, ClickStart, Inc.
The Future of Mobile Information, Examples, and How We Get There, Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper, The Rockley Group


Monday, 19 May, 8:30–9:15 AM MST (GMT-7)**

Track: Mobile Content Design and Delivery
Information Everywhere: Flexible Content with Responsive Design
Nicky Bleiel, ComponentOne

Responsive design “frees our content” to work anywhere, anytime. Adopting responsive design means that technical communicators no longer need to spend time designing and creating deliverables for different devices. Instead, we can focus on developing and delivering quality content—where and when our customers need it. In this talk, we’ll discuss what responsive design is and how it works, the reasons to consider responsive design (besides flexibility, these include “the rise of the tablets,” Google algorithms, content parity, and continuous publishing), and a number of “mobile first” content development best practices for technical communicators.

Nicky Bleiel is the lead information developer for Doc-To-Help and a Doc-To-Help trainer. She has 18 years of experience in technical communication; writing and designing content for software products in the documentation, media, industrial automation, simulation, and pharmaceutical industries. She is the President of STC and has presented talks at STC’s annual Summit, as well as many regional conferences and chapter meetings. She has also presented at WritersUA, tcworld, LavaCon, and CIDM/DITA North America on many topics, including embedded help, tools and technologies, user assistance design, single sourcing, and convergence technical communication.

Monday, 19 May, 9:45–10:30 AM MST (GMT-7)

Track: Content Strategy and Design
Targeting Documentation to Your Users’ Goals
Alyssa Fox, NetIQ Corporation

Targeted documentation provides sufficient information for customers to use products effectively to achieve their goals. It embraces the tenets of minimalist documentation and is based on thoroughly understanding your users and their needs. This type of documentation gives specific information when and where necessary, documents best practices, provides extensive and relevant examples, and does not document the obvious or easily discoverable. This presentation gives an overview of what targeted documentation is, how to create or convert to targeted documentation libraries, and how it can help improve the overall user experience and reduce costs.

Alyssa Fox is director of information development and program management at NetIQ Corporation in Houston, TX. Alyssa is a member of Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). She is also a senior member of STC and is currently serving as the STC Secretary. Alyssa speaks at numerous international conferences.

Monday, 19 May, 1:00–1:45 PM MST (GMT-7)

Track: UX, Usability, and Accessibility
Getting to Know You: User Research Fundamentals Anyone Can Use
Karen Bachmann, Perficient

User research is the foundation of user experience, but conducting user research can seem intimidating when just starting out. At its essence, user research is just asking users about themselves in a constructive and focused way. Learn the basic building blocks for user research from planning to effectively sharing findings.

Karen Bachmann, research and analysis practice lead at Perficient, helps clients create usable products that support how users need and expect to interaction with information and perform their tasks. Karen mentors companies new to UCD to effectively integrate a user focus into their existing development processes. She has presented at STC, UPA, and other professional conferences. She is a former manager of the STC Usability & User Experience community and an Associate Fellow of STC.

Monday, 19 May, 2:15–3:00 PM MST (GMT-7)

Track: Content Development and Delivery
The XPath to XSL Style
Elizabeth Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions

XPath is a powerful and intuitive way to retrieve information from, or apply style to, your document. In this session, you’ll discover how to use XPath whether you’re styling your documents with FOSI, XSLT/XSL-FO, or Arbortext Styler. Also presented will be the basics of writing XPath expressions, including examples of common use cases.

Before founding Single-Sourcing Solutions, Elizabeth Fraley developed and delivered technical design and strategy of authoring and publishing solutions as a single-source/XML architect/programmer. For well over a decade, she has architected and implemented the single-sourcing systems for government and high-tech companies. Specializing in practical development and deployment, she is a strong advocate of designing architectures that directly improve organizational efficiency, productivity, and interoperability. She presents regularly at industry and vendor conferences and is very active in the software engineering user. She’s the founder of TC Camp, the unconference for content creators, consumers, and the people who support them and TC Dojo, a user-decided webinar series. If you ask her, she’ll say she’s a gardener who’s happiest when those around her are flourishing.

Monday, 19 May, 3:30–4:15 PM MST (GMT-7)

Track: Professional Development
Bridging the Gap: Connecting Industry to the Classroom
Brittany McCrigler, iFixit

Industry-guided, project-based learning represents a valuable addition to technical and scientific communication classrooms. Despite the benefits, bringing industry into the classroom can be a formidable task. Instructors sometimes find it difficult to maneuver strategically though the inner workings of industry.  In our presentation, you will learn best practices for instructors and professionals looking to build industry partnerships for the classroom and gain insight on how to facilitate meaningful relationships, including mentorships, across individual and organizational levels. Finally, you will hear experiences and lessons learned from a successful industry-led service-learning project—the iFixit Technical Writing Project.

Brittany McCrigler is the director of education services at iFixit, a repair community dedicated to helping individuals keep their hardware running longer. Brittany coordinates and facilitates the iFixit Technical Writing Program, a service-learning program for university classrooms across the nation. She also teaches technical writing, hosts iFixit’s annual Technical Writing Symposium, creates resources for the technical communication classroom, and is on the teardown team. Brittany works closely with brands and manufacturers, like Patagonia, helping them to create accessible and engaging content. Brittany has a background in physics and astrophysics. She is a patron of many local coffee retailers and loves everything DIY from power tools to puppet-making.

Tuesday, 20 May, 8:30–9:15 AM MST (GMT-7)

Track: Mobile Content Design and Delivery
Google Glass and Augmented Reality: Tools for Your Content Strategy Tool Kit
Marta Rauch

Join Marta Rauch to look at the implications of augmented reality (AR) for technical communication, and understand best practices for user assistance on Google Glass. You’ll add valuable new tools to your content strategy tool kit.

Marta Rauch is a principal information developer at Oracle, where she leads the Planning ID team and participates in corporate gamification initiatives. She presents at conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has published articles in Intercom and the Best Practices journal of the Center for Information-Development Management. With over 20 years of experience in technical communication, Marta has received 15 STC awards for individual and team projects at the local, national, and international level. An STC senior member and mentor for the Silicon Valley Chapter, she holds a certificate in technical writing from the University of California Extension and a BA from Stanford University.

Tuesday, 20 May, 9:45–10:30 AM MST (GMT-7)

Track: Content Strategy and Design
Monetizing Your Content
Jack Molisani, ProSpring/LavaCon

Attend this session and learn strategies for how to generate revenue from both legacy content and future content initiatives.

Jack Molisani started his career as project officer in the Space Division of the US Air Force and is currently the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in engineers and technical writers. Jack also produces The LavaCon Conference on Digital Media and Content Strategy.

Tuesday, 20 May, 1:00–1:45 PM MST (GMT-7)

Track: UX, Usability, and Accessibility
Designing UI Content: Applying Progressive Information Disclosure
Andrea Ames, IBM

We are pros at delivering documentation as content that is adjunct to a user interface—either as a separate library or as traditional help—but we often feel like product interface content is out of our scope. Typically UI text is written by engineering or UX designers. To have the greatest impact on products and users, we must bring our professional content design skills to the overall product design process. This workshop will provide an overview of progressive information disclosure concepts, the design process, and heuristics for evaluating user interfaces.

Andrea L. Ames is an information experience strategist/architect at IBM. Prior to IBM, Andrea was an information strategy, architecture, and usability consultant, helping large and small businesses to engineer their processes to develop information in ways that enhance usability, increase and accelerate user productivity, increase adoption and customer loyalty, and support business goals. Andrea has 25+ years of experience in technical communication. She is Fellow and past President (2004-2005) of STC, Distinguished Engineer of ACM (the first technical communicator to achieve this distinction), Senior Member of IEEE, and member of SWE, ASIS&T, IAI, UPA, and ATTW. Andrea designed, coordinates, and teaches in UCSC in Silicon Valley’s Technical Writing and Communication program; published two award-winning technical books and more than 50 papers and articles; and speaks regularly at conferences and professional meetings around the world. 

Tuesday, 20 May, 2:15–3:00 PM MST (GMT-7)

Track: UX, Usability, and Accessibility
Motivating and Encouraging Users
Scott DeLoach, ClickStart, Inc.

In this session, we will discuss what users expect, need, and want in user assistance. Based on these facts, we will explore how to seduce, challenge, and encourage users to use and explorer our UA. Best practices from the session will be supported by real-world examples from best-in class UA products.

Scott DeLoach is the founder of ClickStart, a user assistance design, consulting, and training company. At ClickStart, Scott helps his clients design and create context-sensitive help, embedded user assistance, and Web-based training. He is a certified MadCap Advanced Developer for Flare, a certified instructor for MadCap Flare and Adobe Captivate, and the author of MadCap Flare Certified Test Review + Developer’s Guide, CSS to the Point, and HTML5 to the Point. Scott holds a Master’s degree in technical and scientific communication from Miami University.

Tuesday, 20 May, 4:15–5:00 PM MST (GMT-7)

Track: Mobile Content Design and Delivery
The Future of Mobile Information—Examples and How We Get There
Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper, The Rockley Group

Today’s readers and consumers of content expect more than paper. Today we (and our customers) have a different relationship to content and mobile devices can help us fulfill it. Our content can interact with the real world, it can reflect where we are, what we’re doing, what we’re looking at and our level of expertise. We can even share information across devices automatically. But it doesn’t just happen, we need to plan ahead—to strategize before we create and provide the content our users want. We need to think about the content, our users, and the real world scenarios that they’ll encounter when they want our material. Join us to see examples of new ways of distributing content with explanations of how we get from where most of us are now to where our customers want us to be and how to create an intelligent content strategy to support mobile information.

Ann Rockley is CEO of The Rockley Group, Inc. She has an international reputation for developing multichannel content strategies and digital publishing solutions. She has been instrumental in establishing the field in content strategy, content reuse, intelligent content strategies for multichannel delivery, eBooks, and content management best practices. Rockley is a frequent contributor to trade and industry publications and a keynote speaker at numerous conferences in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Ann led Content Management Professionals (an international organization that fosters the sharing of content management information, practices, and strategies) to a prestigious eContent 100 award in 2005. Known as the “mother” of content strategy, she introduced the concept of content strategy with her best-selling book, Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, now in its second edition. Ann was ranked among the top five most influential content strategists in 2010. Ann is also the primary author for DITA 101 and eBooks 101. Ann has a master of information science from the University of Toronto and is an STC Fellow.

Charles Cooper is vice president of The Rockley Group, Inc., and has over 20 years of experience in quality assurance and over 15 years of experience in eContent, user experience, taxonomy, workflow design, composition, and digital publishing. He teaches, facilitates modeling sessions, and develops taxonomy and workflow strategies. Charles has assisted companies by analyzing their content, current workflow and taxonomy systems, helped to create new ones, and worked to ensure that they are maintained on a consistent basis. He not only understands process, he understands the production tasks and can design a process that works for everyone in an organization. Charles always keeps the voice of the customer in mind when developing solutions. He has a strong background in process and business planning and believes that taxonomies, structure, organization, workflow, and quality assurance processes must be designed to support the company as they work to provide products and services that their customers need.

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