Technical Communication for User Experience Design


Rachael Burke
Instructor, George Mason University


Online Courses

Technical Communication for User Experience Design

7 September-12 October 2017 (Thursdays) | 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT (GMT -4)


User Experience Design (UXD) is the practice of enhancing a user’s quality of experience by designing with the user in mind. And as Don Norman says in The Design of Everyday Things (2013), “Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.”

Technical Writing for User Experience Design will teach the core UXD principles, methods, and strategies of user-centered design and user-centered communication.


This 6-week, project-based course will teach the fundamentals of a UXD lifecycle, including project selection and creation, user research, design and development, prototyping and testing, and user feedback. During each phased module, attendees will learn how to investigate user needs and how to responsively design for those needs while creating the technical documentation standard to the industry. Upon course completion, attendees will compile and produce a researched and tested process portfolio and recommendations report, reviewing their project’s outcome and demonstrating their capacity to perform equivalent work in the future.


By the end of this course, students will produce:

A professional level, project specific UXD Portfolio that includes:

  • project proposal
  • heuristic analysis of user insights based on user data and metadata
  • use-case based user personas/scenarios
  • at least 2 UXD research methods with analysis (interview, focus group, survey, questionnaire, context analysis, etc.)
  • wireframe or prototype with feature mapping and development documentation
  • user testing results
  • recommendations report

Session Descriptions

  • UXD Basics
  • The Role of the Technical Writer in UXD
  • Projects and Project Management
  • User Insights
  • Heuristic Analysis
  • Proposal Writing
  • Personas
  • Scenarios
  • Use Cases
  • Collecting User Data and Metadata
  • Interviewing/Focus Groups
  • Survey/Questionnaire
  • Context Analysis
  • Design Thinking
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Feature Mapping
  • User Testing and Feedback
  • Portfolios
  • Presenting Findings
  • Recommendations Reports


Rachael Burke is a third year Ph.D. student at George Mason University. She teaches Technical Communication and Advanced English Composition for GMU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Systems Analysis and Design for GMU’s Volgenau School of Engineering. Her research includes work in UXD/UI, HCI, ICT, Dialogue and Design, and Empathy.

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