#TCCamp Workshop: User Experience from Insights to Action

UI/UX Workshop – TC Summer Camp 2017

User Experience from Insights to Action

In this interactive workshop, you will learn the “Why” of UX (user experience): Why placing emphasis on the users is fundamental. You will understand users and types of user research. We’ll examine the UX lifecycle from insights to an actionable prototype and to a very useable product or experience. We’ll survey a variety of key UX artifacts such as personas, empathy maps, customer experience maps, journey maps and more.

Workshop leader: Vera Rhoads, Senior Managing Consultant UX at IBM, Adjunct Lecturer at University of Maryland iSchool

Vera Rhoads has been teaching at the University of Maryland iSchool in the MIM program since 2004. Her focus has primarily been usability and user experience. She has been working on optimizing web solutions for large-scale Fortune 500 companies and non-profits (Fannie Mae, AARP, IMF) for 19 years. Vera’s specialties include web strategy and operations, next-generation website evolution, usability, branding, multi-lingual globalization, web content management and search implementations. She is PMP, ITIL and SCRUM master certified and works on enhancing process methodologies into the web development lifecycle.

When: Saturday 9 September 2017, 8:30-10:30 AM

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Lessons in saving lives

An interview with Vera Rhoads, IBM UX professional and lecturer at University of Maryland College iSchool by the TC Camp roving reporter, Li-At Rathbun.

Vera Rhoads was in the closing panel at STC Summit in May. She’s a working professional and instructor for UX. She will be leading the UX workshop at TC Camp. Our intrepid Camp reporter, Li-At Rathbun, sat down with Vera to get her perspective on what technical communicators need to know about UX to advance their careers and capabilities.

“UX Saves Lives” -Vera Rhoads

When you hear Vera Rhoads talk about UI/UX, you become an instant believer. As technical communicators, we have the power to save lives and change the world. Vera teaches us how.

Li-At: Why is UI/UX interesting to you?

Because it has the power to change the world.

I’m being quite serious. By focusing on changing the user experience, we’re changing how people interact fundamentally with each other. It’s not so much about the interaction between humans and machines. At the end of the day, it’s how people experience the world and interact with each other.

Even if you think of a shopping experience—of how people interact with Amazon.com and the like, it’s about the connection between people. That’s why user experience and the power of user experience is so interesting to me.

Li-At: What attracted you to UI/UX?

In the early 90’s, I was working in a book publishing agency and then for a literary agency. At about the same time, I was going to graduate school. Hypertext—the Internet—was gaining momentum and I got very interested in the UX mostly from the publishing perspective, from the writer/editor/publisher perspective. I then got so involved in the technology that I got much more technical because I wanted to understand how this communication can be empowered.

This is before the term UX was even used. I was doing a lot of information architecture (IA) , navigation systems, and search systems. I’ve always been interested in the human factor of communication.

Li-At: Who should attend this September 9 workshop?

This workshop is for people who want to learn more about user experience and UX research methods. It starts with placing focus on the users: how to find out more about the users and how to create empathy with the users. How to find out what the users think, feel, say, and do.

The workshop is geared towards people who are starting in the field, but also towards people who’ve been in the field for a while and want to share their experiences.

Li-At: What’s the one thing that all technical communicators should understand about UX?

As technical communicators, we already understand about purpose and audience. We already have a lot of skills and knowledge. So what we need to know about UX is that we are not the users—and it’s all about the users.

We must study and understand the intended users and gain insight into who they are.

Don’t assume you know everything about the users. And don’t try to substitute your own experiences for their experiences. You are not your users.

Li-At: Okay, this is TC Camp. So my next question is, what’s your favorite camping spot?

Definitely Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.

My husband grew up touring America in a VW Van, the kind that you can sleep on top of. I’ve promised him we’ll tour the U.S. in one of these some day.

Li-At: If you could take one person camping with you, who would that be and why?

Elon Musk or someone smart like that might be interesting. But I’ll stick with my own husband.

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#TCCamp is only 4 weeks away

Greetings STC Member!

The 2nd annual TC Summer Camp, the techcomm unconference, is coming up in 4 weeks!

What’s an unconference?

It’s an intense day of learning that’s totally relevant to you! Sessions topics are defined by the attendees on the day of the event. There are no presenters, no juried presentations. Instead, you can join together with other like-minded people to discuss topics that interest you!

We start the day with a selection of 2-hour workshops which are run by techcomm luminaries and are designed to get your thinking going, first thing in the morning. After the workshops, the unconference begins! We start with an overview of how it all works, followed by a keynote, lunch, and unconference topic voting. In the afternoon are the unconference sessions, followed by a session wrap-up and raffle!

What hands-on workshops do we have lined up this year?

User Experience from Insights to Action with Vera Rhoads, UX Consultant at IBM
Effective Collaboration with Andrew Lawless of Rockant Inc
Structured Authoring for Beginners with Janice Summers of Single-Sourcing Solutions
Adobe Workshop with Dustin Vaughn

All this for only $35 (including lunch)!

TC Summer Camp is a day of unmatched, intense, learning, sharing, and networking for techcomm professionals. This is a great opportunity to get information on the latest trends and technologies, learn how your colleagues solve problems, and have a focused discussion with your tool vendor about important issues.

Join us Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the District Architecture Center in downtown Washington DC. This is YOUR TC Camp!

Find out more at: www.tccamp.org

P.S. Watch video highlights from January’s conference on YouTube.

Election results

I’m happy to announce that our election is complete. Fifteen percent of our 144 eligible voters cast a ballot for our uncontested election. We now welcome the following officers for their term beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2018.

President: Greta Boller Buskirk
1st Vice President and Events Manager: Richard Bogacz
2nd Vice President and Competition Manager: Tavia Record
Treasurer: Annette Reilly
Secretary: Lloyd Thompson-Taylor
Director-at-Large and Social Media Manager: Viqui Dill

All the best to all of you. I will do everything I can to support you, so please reach out to me if you have any questions or just want to chat about the chapter and profession.

Sincerely,
Carolyn
STC WDCB Election Manager

Tech Writer (Taco) Tuesday Happy Hour with InfoDevDC

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Register on Meetup.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

6:30 PM

Uncle Julio’s Arlington/Ballston

4301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA (map)

Tech writers. Margaritas. Tacos. Enough Said. Join us for our monthly happy hour where we discuss all things tech writer related. Note: If parking is an concern, the Ballston Mall Garage is $1 for 3 hours. Street parking around the evening isn’t too bad either.

Register on Meetup.