Menno D.T. de Jong – This issue’s editorial describes the design of the new Technical Communication Web site, in particular the guiding principles used for the design: simplicity, usability, possibilities to further expand the Web site’s functionality, and a professional and inviting look and feel. It also announces the winners in last year’s Frank R. Smith competition for outstanding and distinguished articles in the 2009 volume of Technical Communication.
Sherry Southard, Editor – Each issue of Technical Communication includes a Recent & Relevant section highlighting and summarizing articles in related journals that may be relevant for technical communication professionals and scholars.
Lex van Velsen, Thea van der Geest, and Michaël Steehouder – Personalization is increasingly important in computer-mediated communication. This article analyzes the concept and process of personalization, and compares it to a traditional rhetoric approach. It then proposes a user-centered design approach for personalized systems and discusses the ways technical communicators may contribute to personalized systems.
John B. Killoran – Business Web sites are important means for technical communication professionals and businesses to recruit new clientele. Using a combination of a survey (240 technical communicators) and e-mail interviews, this article investigates the effectiveness of various strategies to direct prospects to a business Web site. Results show that online strategies (e-mail and search engines) are more effective than offline strategies (networking and referrals).
John B. Killoran – This article focuses on the role of search engine optimization techniques to attract visitors to technical communication business Web sites. Using a survey, interviews and an analysis of business Web sites, the prevalence and effectiveness of various techniques are explored. Longer home page titles and more inbound links are features of effective business Web sites.
Quan Zhou and David K. Farkas – This article describes a new format for online and print documents, called QuikScan. It employs within-document summaries formatted as numbered list items. QuikScan improves readers’ comprehension, and helps them navigate more effectively through a document. The article describes the format extensively, but also discusses its usefulness, drawbacks, and requirements.