Letter From the Editor

Last spring we sent a survey with our newsletter. We also visited classrooms
on the MSU campus and sought input from students and faculty in technical communication and editing classes. We wanted to know what you thought of Techniques. Many of you responded to the survey. Some of you requested changes, and those recommendations are listed below.

• Write shorter articles–our time is precious

• Use more call outs

• Cartoons would lighten the mood

• Use more color

• Content–make it count, don’t just fill space

• Creativity–don’t beat a subject to death

• Use larger headings and more consistent graphics

• Write more articles related to careers–what’s out there and how do we find it?

• Past editors–where are they now, and what are they doing?

• Resume tips (students and professionals stressed this)

• Tables and charts where appropriate, for variety

• Wide margins–do you really need them?

• Overall, the paper looks muddy. Do we need the purple with the white recycled background?

We value your comments, and we listened to you. With this issue of Techniques, we present our new look, sporting the new STC logo. We bring you shorter articles, more call outs, better use of white space, and (in our opinion) a nicer-looking newsletter on white paper. In the future, look for more diverse articles, improved graphics, and fresh ideas, plus interesting tips, trends, and trivia. Let us know what you think. Your opinion matters to us.

Our online editors worked very hard to redesign the web edition of Techniques. To make the site more user-friendly, they conducted usability testing, studying ease of navigation, visual appearance, and overall design. A majority of respondents criticized the large amount of white space (blank space). Those tested also recommended changes on the terminology and search options. Downloading images took too long. And because we designed our site to be viewed in an 800 x 600 pixel display, we added a disclaimer stating this. Finally, our usability participants stressed that our graphics and buttons should be better quality. We listened, and we revised. Please visit us online at english.mnsu.edu/stc/myweb3/index.htm, and tell us what you think.

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