Beyond the Content: Advanced Topics to Develop Your TC Career


Leah Guren


Online Courses

Beyond the Content: Advanced Topics to Develop Your TC Career

5 February-5 March 2019 (Tuesdays) | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM EST (GMT -5)


This course presents more advanced concepts to TC practitioners who may still be within their first three years in the profession. It covers topics that are beyond the scope of the introductory courses, such as TC Fundamentals Bootcamp.

At the end of this five-week online course, participants will:

  • Be able to identify the need for glossaries and reference material, and create functional and useful deliverables.
  • Understand the difference between online Help content and traditional linear documentation, and be able to design an effective Help system.
  • Learn techniques to reduce text and think creatively to create minimalist content.
  • Understand the purpose of tutorials, and design and implement an effective tutorial.
  • Understand the intersection between UX and TC, and be able to plan and implement simple documentation usability tests.

This five-week course covers these topics to help you enrich and develop your TC career:

  • Developing Glossaries and References
  • Applying Help Authoring Concepts
  • Moving Towards Minimalism
  • Creating Tutorials
  • Conducting Usability Tests

Each topic includes a live lecture and a related homework assignment. Assignments typically require 10 to 20 hours of work. At the end of the course, there is a final project that may require up to 50 hours of work. There is no final exam. The lectures are supported by the virtual classroom site, in which participants can download materials, upload assignments, and participate in forums.

Session Descriptions

  • The purpose of glossaries and references
  • Writing effective definitions
  • Structuring reference material more usably
  • Stripping out reference material from other topics, and using effective signposting (links)
  • How Help differs from docs
  • Understanding basic Help concepts
  • Mastering navigation
  • Context sensitivity
  • Help authoring best practices
  • The continued need for minimalism
  • Cutting fluff
  • Simplifying through structure
  • Thinking visually
  • Minimalism best practices
  • TC meets ID (Instructional Design)
  • Identifying the need for tutorials
  • Types of tutorials
  • Tutorial best practices
  • TC meets UX (User Experience, aka Usability): the purpose of U-testing and our role
  • U-testing best practices
  • Doc u-testing vs. product u-testing


Leah Guren entered the field of technical communication in 1980. Her experience as a writer, editor, tech pubs manager, and consultant allowed her to develop a variety of technical communication training programs. Leah trains new writers for this field, as well as conducting seminars and in-house training for TCs of all levels, engineers, and managers. Her clients include many of the top high-tech companies in Israel.

Leah is best known for her ability to bring dry theory to life, illustrating rules with real-life examples and providing a clear, practical guidelines which can be applied by writers of all levels and experience. Leah is an STC Fellow and a regular speaker at STC and other international technical communication conferences. For more information, see Cow TC ( or contact Leah (

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