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IA: A communicator’s perspective – Jean Richardson, Connie Betz, Gail Toft-Vizzini, Dick Miller, Susan Caney-Peterson

Date: July 17, 2002
Speaker: 
Jean Richardson, Connie Betz, Gail Toft-Vizzini, Dick Miller, Susan Caney-Peterson — 

Professional communicators bring their specialty’s expertise to bear on the topic of information architecture in a lively discussion of problems and solutions as they move into information architecture roles.

Bibliography from this program

Jean Richardson, panel organizer, BJR Communications
Connie Betz, Wildcat Interactive, Inc.
Gail Toft-Vizzini, Tektronix, Inc.
Dick Miller, Independent Consultant
Susan Caney-Peterson, FEI Company

Think Information Architecture is something new? Think again. Technical communicators have worked at this endeavor for, well, centuries, depending on whose story you believe.

Come hear four long-time technical communication practitioners and occasional information architects talk about the business of connecting people with information. You’ll receive an annotated bibliography to take away and probably learn a few things in the course of the discussion. Come prepared to participate. We’re prepared to help you do that.

Jean Richardson has been writing since 1984. She has been working in hardware and software development environments since 1990. She designed and implemented a number of user information sets, led a number of process improvement initiatives, mentored individuals entering the field of technical and business communication, and led professionalization and education efforts for technical communicators. Jean has developed a specialty in alternative dispute resolution and facilitation.

Connie Betz enjoys developing information systems, from the planning and design phase through product launch. She has over 20 years of experience as an instructional designer, technical writer, and Web architect. Connie has designed and implemented online Help, Web sites, Extranets, and Intranets and is a three-time winner of the highest international honors in the Society for Technical Communication competitions.

Gail Toft-Vizzini has worked in technical communications for 25 years as a technical writer, a manager, a technical editor, and most recently as a project manager on a content management project. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and uses its basic principles in all her work.

Susan Caney-Peterson has traveled the road from college text book editor to desktop publisher to technical writer. While managing the Technical Publications group at FEI Company, she pioneered the company’s Intranet. Now FEI’s Product Communications Manager, she creates visual and written methods to aid in product and technology planning.

Dick Miller has been in the business of helping people do their jobs since 1965: twelve years as a public school teacher and administrator, and more recently as a technical training and documentation individual contributor and manager. He describes his approach to IA as “user/customer-focused.” He works to determine user and business needs, find the performance discrepancies, and design solutions that reduce the gap.

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