As a Vancouver technical writer with more than 15 years of experience, I’ve created dozens of deliverables that make it easier for end-users and employees to use technology.
My strengths include:
• Breadth of experience. I have ample experience writing help systems, user guides, release notes, quick reference cards, online videos, troubleshooting content for support web sites, and instructional design and marketing content for a number of companies including Adobe, Chancery Software (now Pearson School Systems), Kodak, FortisBC, BC Hydro, Teck Resources Limited, and Boeing.
• Proven project management. I adeptly juggle multiple deliverables, I deliver when I say I will, and I always strive to deliver content on or before a deadline. At Boeing, I managed the creation of a 700-topic help system, seven quick reference cards, a getting started guide, and a myriad of learning modules for a software application designed to help Boeing manage all of its domestic and international suppliers.
• Expertise with technology. I’m experienced at writing in XML using Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), I’m conversant with Adobe FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Madcap Flare, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, Confluence, Microsoft InfoPath Designer, EPUB files, HTML5, SAP, SAP business intelligence software, blogs, wikis, single-sourcing, and writing SDK documentation.
Documentation for Mobile Devices
Most recently, I’ve created EPUB and HTML5 files for clients. EPUB and HTML5 files change how technical communicators deliver mobile documentation.
I’ve blogged about formatting EPUB files and spoke about the subject at the WritersUA conference in Seattle and the Canada West Coast Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). In 2013, I wrote an article for the STC’s Intercom magazine too. Here is a sample page:
I have also written blog posts about mobile apps and a white paper for Adobe on mobile app trends. The following images display the first two pages from the white paper:
I’ve written many users guides over the years, and earned an international award of excellence for one document that I wrote.
One of the documents that I’m proud of is the Prinergy Evo Understanding Layout User Guide. The guide addresses how to use a complex part of Prinergy Evo software, which is designed to help commercial printers prepare and output their files to proofers and presses.
The guide was created after the Prinergy Evo support team realized that many of their users struggled with one aspect of the software. As part of the support team, I worked with subject matter experts to hone the key messages, liaised with a graphic designer to create the illustrations, and then posted the finished document to Kodak’s support web site.
The Prinergy Evo Understanding Layout User Guide was well received within the company and was embraced by local and international users. After the guide was uploaded, I confirmed (using web analytics software) that the document was one of the most downloaded PDFs after its release. In the months that followed, support calls on the issue began to drop. Here is a sample page from the document.
I have created many online help projects for companies. At FortisBC, I documented dozens of SAP procedures for Call Centre Staff. We wrote content in Microsoft Word and then uploaded the content to an internal SharePoint 2010 web site. Here is a screen capture of a procedure that I wrote and illustrated.
Single Source Publishing
I have employed single source publishing when creating deliverables at Boeing, Kodak, and Teck Resources. Single source publishing is most often understood as the creation of one source document in an authoring tool (for example, MadCap Flare or Adobe FrameMaker) and converting that document into different formats (such as online help or quick reference cards) with minimal effort.
I have researched, written, and delivered instructional design content, including training plans, learning guides, Adobe Captivate and uPerform files, self-directed e-learning content, and job aids.
I am well versed in writing technical documentation in XML using DITA.
When I worked at Kodak in Burnaby, British Columbia, the company employed 25 writers and instructional designers, making content re-use a priority. We authored content in XMetaL.
I’ve maintained many web sites—including corporate intranets and support web sites. I also designed and maintain this site. I’m adept at using HTML, web authoring tools, wikis, and writing blogs.
Quick Reference Cards and Getting Started Documents
Quick reference cards and getting started guides provide users with print-based, highly graphical documents that typically introduce a new product. I’ve created many quick reference cards in InDesign and FrameMaker, and managed the translation of the files into nearly 10 languages.
Online demonstrations or videos are great at quickly conveying key messages. I’ve created Flash-based videos in Captivate and Camtasia to provide users with an overview of a software program. You can also provide users with the ability to try out a sample task within the tutorial without using the actual software product, and even add simple quizzes to test users’ knowledge of a given subject.
Presentation and Delivery Skills
I have delivered virtual and instructor-led presentations as a writing instructor for Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Community College.
In addition to the documents typically written by a technical writer, I’ve also written white papers, brochures, and e-newsletter content for clients. Here is one-page sample of a marketing document I wrote for Kodak
I’d be happy to you show you some samples of my portfolio. Contact me today.