East Bay Chapter Monthly Meeting

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"Designing for People: Human Factors for Technical Communicators"

Andrea L. Ames M.S.

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Take the challenge to solve Andrea's 9-Dots problem.

  • Open .pdf file.
  • Find page 15 -- follow instructions.
  • Answer at the bottom of page

Good luck.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Program Description

What are "human factors?" Those characteristics of our users that influence or affect their experiences while using our products -- the way they think, solve problems, and learn, as well as their background, past exeriences, and attitudes.

Why should technical communicators care? Information *is* part of the product, and many technical communicators are woefully out of touch with their users. Technical communicators developing online information, like Help and Web sites are, strictly speaking, designing interactive interfaces. And many communicators are moving away from developing only traditional documentation deliverables -- some are designing product user interfaces.

If this sounds like you, join Andrea L. Ames as she discusses human factors from a technical communicators perspective. She'll provide a basic overview of human factors, demonstrate the impact of two important factors on information design and architecture, and describe how you can become a more knowledgeable technical communicator in this area.

About our Presenter

Andrea L. Ames, M.S., is a technical communicator specializing in user-centered product interface and online information architecture and design, interaction design, and usability. She has more than 19 years of experience designing, developing, and producing usable
technical and scientific information for products, software user interfaces, multimedia and online information systems, and print documentation.

Andrea is a Senior Information Developer at IBM Corporation, where she leads information development for a large data management product. She is an Associate Fellow and a member of the STC international Board of Directors (she will be President in 2004-05); coordinator for two University of California Extension technical communication certificates; and a published author and freelance writer. She teaches at the university level and speaks internationally at professional conferences.


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