This week for my technical communications class, we were asked to create an infographic using the strategies and tips we learned in our assigned readings. We were also given some tools to use to help those of us who were really new to graphic design (that’s me!).
I settled on Piktochart’s graphics design site. They had a lot of clean modern templates that appealed to me. I also liked the tutorial provided, there was both a video and helpful pop up tips as you explored the site initially. Continue reading
For our second blog post we were asked to discuss a process from our current or future field and then describe how we would improve upon that process.
I currently work at a veterinary hospital where we use a veterinary practice management software called AVImark. One of the many features of this software is the ability to attach documents and other digital media to codes in the medical history section. This allows us to electronically access things that we might otherwise only find in the patients actual paper chart, like lab work from an outside site, or discharge instructions etc.
Currently the process by which we attach these items is a bit cumbersome. We scan the document from the paper chart to our shared network folder. We then open AVImark and find the appropriate patient, and the code that we would like to attach it too, and then go into the shared folder find the file and attach it. Continue reading
In route setting for rock climbing, it is the route setter’s job to put up holds on a blank climbing wall designed to be fun and to not injure climbers. Sometimes that is the only guidance that is given to a setter before their session begins. Other times there are more instructions such as the difficulty they must set, the type of holds they should use, or certain features on the wall they need to avoid. Due to the freedom a route setter has, this job is considered a form of art. At RIT’s Red Barn rock climbing gym, setters typically pick out holds from buckets on the ground and lay them out on the mats. Some of these holds are for hands and others are for feet. Sometimes the holds must be used for both. Once they have decided they like the sequence they have set, they place tape on the walls where they plan to put the holds, then they bolt the holds into the wall. Once the wall is done, a group of forerunners climb the problems and decide if any changes are needed. This is a process that takes several hours. For competitions, it is important to set these problems quickly. There are several processes that I think could potentially be faster. One option is to pick out only the hand holds they plan to use. Once they go through their typical sequence and bolt them to the wall, they could decide where to put the feet and bolt these in later. This is beneficial because setters oftentimes bolt footholds that are not needed for the climb. Another option to shorten the process would be to set the crux, the most difficult part of the climb, first. If the crux was in the middle, the setter would work up and down in order to establish a flow that is both fun and difficult. This would be beneficial for competition setting because as a route setter gets ideas, he or she could bolt a few holds in and then come back to it later to finish the route and make sure it runs smoothly.
In this article, Larry communicates about his dislikes regarding technical communication. He realizes, however, that some of these matters are unavoidable and critical for success. He compares these topics to vegetables; not many people like to eat them, but we all know that they are vital for our physical well-being.
The first example Larry discusses is “Following the style guide.” He explains that during the writing process, interrupting his flow of ideas when, for example, he forgets “whether to spell out numbers below 10” can be frustrating. Even though following the style guide may be tedious, he knows that it enhances the quality of writing due to consistency of diction.
Another topic Larry discusses is the display of content on various platforms. The viewer needs to visualize identical content whether they are viewing on their tablet or smartphone, or if they are using Firefox or Safari.
The last matter he discusses is the implementation of metadata into technical documents. The goal of metadata is to extract basic information of data. For a document, the metadata would include the length, the author, a short summary, and the date of creation. This information can allow the data to be more easily tracked and manipulated. Many writers have a difficult time finishing their content before a deadline, so they often don’t include the code for the metadata, but Larry says that this is a mistake. Using metadata will become more common in the future, and Larry says that “someday your properly categorized and tagged content will be ready for targeting to specific audiences, for adapting to different output formats, and for easy management.” Even if you code the metadata into your document after posting, your future self will be gracious.
One of bloggers I chose to follow was Tristan Bishop, one of his recent blogs was “Winning the Social Media Superbowl”. In this blog Tristan uses images to connect the game of football to having a positive social media presence. He also compares social media marketing to running an offense and social customer service to coordinating a defense. In his blog he talks about “covering the whole field” and by that he went on to talk about sites and blogs, social channels and public conversations. Tristan also discussed that “offensively” you need to be able to promote and share your company’s products and ideas while “defensively” you need to be able to quickly respond to public customer challenges. And “recapping the season” is where you would asses where you are after a quarter, what did the company do well, where the company can improve and then set goals for the next “season”. This blog mad a lot of really strong connections between something I am familiar with, football, and not so familiar concepts such social marketing and social support. I thought this blog was really well composed and informational.
By Tallon Rood