Technical Publishing Process: Resources




Here are various resources you might find useful in your technical communication courses. Please contact your instructor if you find any additional ones that ought to be posted here. Thanks!

General Technical Publishing Process

JoAnn T. Hackos. Managing Your Documentation Projects. Wiley. This 1994 book established Hackos as the leader in the technical communication field. This book is excruciating in its coverage of an ideal ID process, complete with example forms.

JoAnn T. Hackos. Information Development: Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio, and People. Wiley. This book appeared in 2007; it treats some new topics but I don't know yet how repetitive it is of the 1994 book.

Sun Technical Pubs. Read Me First!. Prentice Hall. See Chapter 10 (editors) and Appendix A (publications process).

Jonathan Price, Henry Korman. How to Communicate Technical Information: A Handbook of Software and Hardware Documentation. Benjamin Cummings. This book has been around a long time and probably represents the older traditional ID method.

EServer Technical Communication Library. See the articles in these categories: collaboration, content management, information design, organizations.

Michael Bremer. Untechnical Writing - How to Write About Technical Subjects and Products So Anyone Can Understand. Untechnical Press. Not much on process in this one.

Alan S. Pringle, Sarah S. O'Keefe. Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Documentation. Scriptorum. Or this one.

Peter Kent. Making Money in Technical Writing. Arco Pub (October 1997).ISBN-10: 0028618831.

TECHWR-L

Information-Development Proposals. My own take on this subject. This resource contains a link to a discussion of proposals in general.

Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. Contains very good information on constructing a usability test plan. Wiley.

Usability Studies. This area is part of the TCBOK (Technical Communication Body of Knowledge Experiment), which uses a wiki-style environment. This link may change; let me know if it does.

Jakob Nielsen's Website

STC Usability & User Experience Community

Usability Professionals' Association

Usability.gov. This link contains templates for usability test plans.

Barnum, C. Usability Testing and Research. Highly respected author; I'm not familiar with this book though. Longman.

Dumas, J. and Redish, J. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing. Highly respected authors; I'm not familiar with this book though. Intellect Ltd.

McMurrey. Style guides

Style Guides

McMurrey. Style guides

JoAnn T. Hackos. Managing Your Documentation Projects. Wiley. Don't forget; it's on reserve.

EServer Technical Communication Library. Search on style guides in this collection.

TECHWR-L. Similarly, search in TECHWR-L's articles and listserv archives for style guides.

Examples:

Microsoft Vista Text and Tone. Friendlying up user docs.

OpenOffice.org Authors Style Guide. Developed by Janet Swisher for an international community of volunteer authors; requires OpenOffice.org.

AMA bibliographic style. AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed., 2007

American Institute of Physics Style Manual.

European Union Interinstitutional style guide.

IEEE Computer Society Style Guide.

IBM Style Guide. The one, the only.

U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual

Simplified English. From Userlab, Inc. Simplified English was developed to facilitate the use of maintenance manuals by non-native speakers of English. Aerospace manufacturers, for example, are required to write aircraft maintenance documentation in Simplified English.

MIL-STD-498. One of the standard milspecs used for documentation and editing. Also, Wikipedia has an article: MIL-STD-498. Thanks to Christine Hall for these links.

Developing a Departmental Style Guide. Made available by Jean Hollis Weber.

US Government Printing Office Style Guide.

Scriptorium Style Guide.

American Institute of Physics Style Manual.

European Union Interinstitutional style guide.

IEEE Computer Society Style Guide.

Apple Publications Style Guide.

Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications. Used to be available free as a 1077KB help file (.chm) and as a .pdf.

Wikipedia:Manual of Style.

Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry. Unfortunately, this fine book by Sun Technical Publications you must purchase. Sun Technical Publications: Mountain View, CA.

Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors: Grammar, Punctuation, and Capitalization. NASA publication, produced by Mary K. McCaskill at the Langley Research Center.

Style Guide for Online Hypertext. From the founders of the web . . .

The Yale Web Style Guide. Fine material from the Yale Center for Advanced Instructional Media.

Process Guides

Unfortunately, these links treat the process in terms of a single writer and rarely in terms of the organization that produces technical publications.

Technical Writing Process. From docsymmetry.com.

Technical communication. From Wikipedia.

The following are my notes on process:

Usability Testing

Rubin, J. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. Contains very good information on constructing a usability test plan. Wiley.

Usability Studies. This area is part of the TCBOK (Technical Communication Body of Knowledge Experiment), which uses a wiki-style environment. This link may change; let me know if it does.

EServer Technical Communication Library. Search on usability in this collection.

TECHWR-L. Similarly, search in TECHWR-L's articles and listserv archives for usability.

Jakob Nielsen's Website

STC Usability & User Experience Community

Usability Professionals' Association

Usability.gov. This link contains templates for usability test plans.

Barnum, C. Usability Testing and Research. Highly respected author; I'm not familiar with this book though. Longman.

Dumas, J. and Redish, J. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing. Highly respected authors; I'm not familiar with this book though. Intellect Ltd.

Project Estimating

JoAnn T. Hackos. Managing Your Documentation Projects. Wiley. This book probably has all the information you need to do a project estimate. Don't forget; key chapters are on "reserve."

JoAnn T. Hackos. Information Development: Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio, and People. Wiley. A dozen years later, this book also has project-estimating material, perhaps with a new perspective.

Jonathan Price, Henry Korman. How to Communicate Technical Information: A Handbook of Software and Hardware Documentation. Benjamin Cummings. Some material on project hours.

EServer Technical Communication Library. Search on project estimating in this collection.

TECHWR-L. Similarly, search in TECHWR-L's articles and listserv archives for project estimating.

Sun Technical Pubs. Read Me First!. Prentice Hall. See Appendix A.

Alan S. Pringle, Sarah S. O'Keefe. Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Documentation. Scriptorum. Minimal coverage.

Information Development Proposals

Peter Kent. Making Money in Technical Writing. Arco Pub (October 1997).ISBN-10: 0028618831.

TECHWR-L. Search TECHWR-L's article article on proposals. Also, search the TECHWR-L listserv archives.

JoAnn T. Hackos. Managing Your Documentation Projects. Hackos states that the information plan is essentially a proposal; read what she has to say about information plans.

Peter Kent. Making Money in Technical Writing. Arco Pub (October 1997).ISBN-10: 0028618831.

EServer Technical Communication Library. Search on proposals.

Jonathan Price, Henry Korman. How to Communicate Technical Information: A Handbook of Software and Hardware Documentation. Just a few pages in chapter 1; very general mention of the information-development proposal.

Information-Development Proposals. My own take on this subject. This resource contains a link to a discussion of proposals in general.

Information Development Plans

develop this.

Prototypes and Templates

Chapter 10 of Michael Bremer, Untechnical Writing: How to Write about Technical Subjects So Anyone Can Understand Them

See Chapter 19 of JoAnn Hackos. Managing Your Documentation Projects

Chapter 16 of Jonathan Price and Henry Korman's How to Communicate Technical Information also has good coverage of documentation plans.

EServer Technical Communication Library. Search on templates and collections in this collection.

TECHWR-L. Similarly, search in TECHWR-L's articles and listserv archives for templates and collections.

Tracking System

develop this.

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