Should Organizations Adapt their Writing Style in Documents for International Audiences?

International organizations need to communicate with stakeholders with diverse cultural backgrounds. Different cultures have different values, which may have implications for how messages are evaluated across cultures. Different cultural values may lead to different stylistic preferences. Does this mean that organizations need to adjust their … [Read more...]

Lessons from Academia in Developing English Language Skills and Training Programs

  Many engineering schools, both in English speaking and non-English speaking countries, have had to come up with strategies for improving the English language abilities of their students.  Schools in predominantly English speaking countries with increasing non-domestic enrolments have begun to see the importance of language support for … [Read more...]

Principles for Reuse: How to Repurpose Documentation for Different Situations

Professional communication often involves producing documentation for slightly different contexts, sometimes over the course of multiple years. Information about the same product, process, or event is often delivered to different audiences and to meet different purposes. Product specifications might need to be developed for an engineer working on … [Read more...]

“Help me do it myself” – Improving Self-Service Technologies through User-Centered-Design

Living in a self-service society we are often confronted with different technologies when settling our daily affairs, such as online travel sites or public terminals like ATMs or ticket vending machines. While self-service technologies offer some advantages like 24/7 availability, there are serious disadvantages as well. Imagine buying a ticket at … [Read more...]

Classics in Communication — “Targeting an audience of robots: Search engines and the marketing of technical communication business websites" by J. B. Killoran

Recommended by former Transactions editor Jo Mackiewicz — Killoran’s surveyed 240 principals in technical communication businesses, interviewed half of them, and analyzed their websites to determine the extent to which they tried to reach prospective clients via the intermediary of search engines. He found that search engines help businesses but … [Read more...]