ABSTRACT

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.

chapter |6 pages

Introduction

ByGeorge F. Hayhoe, Helen M. Grady

part Part I|47 pages

Usability: Making Technology Fit Its Users

chapter Chapter 1|11 pages

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

ByCarol Barnum, David Dayton, Kevin Gillis, Joe O’Connor

chapter Chapter 2|9 pages

Usability Standards: Connecting Practice Around the World

ByWhitney Quesenbery

chapter Chapter 3|11 pages

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

ByElisabeth Cuddihy, Carolyn Wei, Alexandra L. Bartell, Jennifer Barrick, Brandon Maust, Seth S. Leopold, Jan H. Spyridakis

chapter Chapter 4|11 pages

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

ByFloor van Horen, Carel Jansen, Leo Noordman, Alfons Maes

part Part II|51 pages

Globalization: Overcoming the Challenges of Languages and Cultures

chapter Chapter 5|11 pages

Communication as a Key to Global Business

ByReinhard Schäler

chapter Chapter 6|10 pages

The Hidden Costs of Cross-Cultural Documentation

ByMarie-Louise Flacke

chapter Chapter 9|9 pages

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

ByThomas Orr, Renu Gupta, Atsuko Yamazaki, Laurence Anthony

part Part II|48 pages

Health and Safety: Informing Society of Risks and Dangers

chapter Chapter 10|9 pages

Public Professional Communication in the Antiterror Age: A Discourse Analysis

ByCatherine F. Smith

chapter Chapter 11|13 pages

Challenges to Effective Information and Communication Systems in Humanitarian Relief Organizations

ByChristina Maiers, Margaret Reynolds, Mark Haselkorn

chapter Chapter 12|11 pages

Using Role Sets to Engage and Persuade Visitors to Web Sites That Promote Safe Sex

ByMichaël F. Steehouder

part Part IV|29 pages

Biotechnology: Reporting Its Potential and Its Problems

part Part V|65 pages

Corporate Environment: Improving Communication

chapter Chapter 17|9 pages

Technical Language: Learning from the Columbia and Challenger Reports

ByPaul M. Dombrowski

chapter Chapter 18|9 pages

The Theoretical Foundations of Service Leadership: A New Paradigm

ByJudith B. Strother, Svafa Grönfeldt

chapter Chapter 21|9 pages

Knowledge Management in the Aerospace Industry

ByDavid J. Harvey, Robert Holdsworth