About This Website
This site is also an experiment in information design!
For technical writers, writing a resume poses a challenge beyond the merely editorial. How do you organize your experience and background logically? How do you explain technical duties in terms comprehensible to outsiders? How do you create the custom documentation system that is both reader-friendly and easy-to-maintain? How do you create a portfolio that illustrates best practices in information design? How do you present information in a modular fashion while still presenting information in an easy-to-follow way? And finally, how do you create a portfolio that takes advantage of the lightweight flexibility of wordpress software while still presenting advanced navigation features?
The main purpose of this site is to serve as a personal resume or portfolio. But by using technical writing case studies, I’m also trying to explain how technical writers do their work and how widely the work varies. For example, there is considerable overlap between the roles of teacher and writer. Not in terms of imparting information, but in the way the person prepares. Both jobs entail gathering information, deciding the learning goals, profiling the end user, deciding the best sequence for presenting information and providing a way to verify that the end user has met the learning objective. A “hyperlinked” resume makes it easy for readers to see how seemingly disparate kinds of work experience share many common aspects.
The inspiration for this portfolio website came from reading Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld. This is pretty much the bible for information design and technical writing. The third edition in particular is packed with nuggets of wisdom.
Finally, I wish to express my gratitude for the wordpress platform, which is also a masterpiece of open source collaboration and good interface design. Ever since I started using it in 2003, I have come to appreciate its flexibility and simplicity. WordPress and blogging software is particularly well-suited to my story-based method of presenting my portfolio.