Connecting People with Technology: Issues in Professional Communication, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Connecting People with Technology

Issues in Professional Communication, 1st Edition

Edited by George F Hayhoe, Helen M Grady


222 pages

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This book explores five important areas where technology affects society, and suggests ways in which human communication can facilitate the use of that technology.Usability has become a foundational discipline in technical and professional communication that grows out of our rhetorical roots, which emphasize purpose and audience. As our appreciation of audience has grown beyond engineers and scientists to lay users of technology, our appreciation of the diversity of those audiences in terms of age, geography, and other factors has similarly expanded.We are also coming to grips with what Thomas Friedman calls the 'flat world,' a paradigm that influences how we communicate with members of other cultures and speakers of other languages. And because most of the flatteners are either technologies themselves or technology-driven, technical and professional communicators need to leverage these technologies to serve global audiences.Similarly, we are inundated with information about world crises involving health and safety issues. These crises are driven by the effects of terrorism, the aging population, HIV/AIDS, and both human-made and natural disasters. These issues are becoming more visible because they are literally matters of life and death. Furthermore, they are of special concern to audiences that technical and professional communicators have little experience targeting - the shapers of public policy, seniors, adolescents, and those affected by disaster.Biotechnology is another area that has provided new roles for technical and professional communicators. We are only beginning to understand how to communicate the science accurately without either deceiving or panicking our audience. We need to develop a more sophisticated understanding of how communication can shape reactions to biotechnology developments. Confronting this complex network of issues, we're challenged to fashion both our message and the audience's perceptions ethically.Finally, today's corporate environment is being shaped by technology and the global nature of business. Technical and professional communicators can play a role in capturing and managing knowledge, in using technology effectively in the virtual workplace, and in understanding how language shapes organizational culture.

Table of Contents


George F. Hayhoe and Helen M. Grady

Part I-Usability: Making Technology Fit Its Users

Chapter 1 Making Connections: Teaming Up to Connect Users, Developers, and Usability Experts

Carol Barnum, David Deyton, Kevin Gillis, and Joe O'Connor

Chapter 2 Usability Standards: Connecting Practice Around the World

Whitney Quesenbery

Chapter 3 Conducting an Automated Experiment Over the Internet to Assess Navigation Design for a Medical Web Site Containing Multipage Articles

Elisabeth Cuddihy, Carolyn Wei, Alexandra Bartell, Jen Barrick, Brandon Maust, Seth S. Leopold, and Jan H. Spyridakis

Chapter 4 Manuals for the Elderly: Text Characteristics That Help or Hinder Older Users

Floor van Horen, Carel Jansen, Leo Noordman, and Alfons Maes

Part II-Globalization: Overcoming the Challenges of Languages and Cultures

Chapter 5 Communication as a Key to Global Business

Reinhard Schäler

Chapter 6 The Hidden Costs of Cross-Cultural Documentation

Marie-Louise Flacke

Chapter 7 How to Save Time and Money by Connecting the Writing Process to the Update and Translation Process

Margaretha Eriksson

Chapter 8 Technical Communication and Cross-Cultural Miscommunication: User Culture and the Outsourcing of Writing

Joseph Jeyaraj

Chapter 9 Presenting in English to International Audiences: A Critical Survey of Published Advice and Actual Practice

Thomas Orr, Renu Gupta, Atsuko Yamazaki, and Laurence Anthony

Part III-Health and Safety: Informing Society of Risks and Dangers

Chapter 10 Public Professional Communication in the Anti-Terror Age: A Discourse Analysis

Catherine F. Smith

Chapter 11 Challenges to Effective Information and Communication Systems in Humanitarian Relief Organizations

Christina Maiers, Margaret Reynolds, and Mark Haselkorn

Chapter 12 Using Role Sets to Engage and Persuade Visitors of Web Sites that Promote Safe Sex

Michaël F. Steehouder

Chapter 13 Physicians and Patients: How Professionals Build Relationships through Rapport Management

Kim Campbell

Part IV-Biotechnology: Reporting Its Potential and Its Problems

Chapter 14 Connecting Popular Culture and Science: The Case of Biotechnology

Susan Allender-Hagedorn and Cheryl W. Ruggiero

Chapter 15 Biotechnology and Global Miscommunication with the Public: Rhetorical Assumptions, Stylistic Acts, Ethical Implications

Steven B. Katz

Chapter 16 The Need for Technical Communicators as Facilitators of Negotiation in Controversial Technology Transfer Cases

Dale L. Sullivan

Part V-Corporate Environment: ImprovingTechnology

Chapter 17 Technical Language: Learning from the Columbia and Challenger Reports

Paul M. Dombrowski

Chapter 18 The Theoretical Foundations of Service Leadership: A New Paradigm

Judith B. Strother and Svafa Grönfeldt

Chapter 19 Managing Collaboration: Adding Communication and Documentation Environment to a Product Development Cycle

Laura S. Batson and Susan Feinberg

Chapter 20 Virtual Office Communication Protocols: A System for Managing International Virtual Teams

Kirk St. Amant

Chapter 21 Knowledge Management in the Aerospace Industry

David J. Harvey and Robert Holdsworth

Chapter 22 Using Their Digital Notes: Three Cases to Make Tacit Knowledge Visible in a Web-based Surrounding

Leisbeth Rentinck

Meet the Contributors


About the Series

Baywood's Technical Communications

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health