SIG NEWS: Marcia Shannon Reports on 2021 Summit Honors Reception

By Marcia Shannon, Immediate Past Manager

June was an exciting month, filled with education and awards, socializing and networking. 

At the Summit Honors Reception, our IDL SIG received the Bronze-level Community Award AND the Most Improved Community Award. The Bronze citation reads:

“For your impressive educational programming for your SIG and at the STC Summit, creative inclusion of students through your competition, and effective communication via your social media outlets and newsletter.”

This is the Most Improved citation: 

“For your extraordinary level of engagement and outreach within the STC community, and for continuing to provide impressive programs and value to your members.” 

We received notice about the Bronze achievement in April, but the Most Improved Award was a surprise. Both are the result of the hard work of all our volunteers throughout 2020. Additional kudos to Viqui Dill, for bringing us useful and interesting programs throughout the year, to Mellissa Ruryk, for her energetic student outreach expansion and Paul Scott, for his patience with our missed deadlines and skill in editing our newsletter contributions. Working with so many talented, dedicated winners is a continuing benefit of volunteering with the IDL SIG. I recommend it because each volunteer brings a fresh perspective to the SIG.

Summit presentations in review

Summit itself was three days of learning and fun and catching up with friends. I was able to attend a dozen of the 60 education sessions, most of the Featured Speaker presentations and several social/networking sessions. Thank goodness I have until August 31 to watch more of the education sessions, check out additional vendors. There is still much to explore and some sessions to watch again.

I enjoyed and learned from every session. These are my top picks with my take-ways from each.

So You Think You Know What Your Readers Want? (Strimling)

  • Research paper brought to life. 
  • How to measure whether users believe content is meaningful and actionable.
  • Documentation Quality Feedback Model is immediately useful.

Develop Engaging, Interactive Online Training Sessions (Kleinsmith)

  • Real world example of overhauling in-person and online training in variable settings.
  • Meet the user's needs and provide uniform information across venues and customers.

Enhance Your User Experience with Content (Gillenwater)

  • The tech writer is user zero.
  • How a company shifted their UI to meet user, not developer needs.

Low-Cost, Low-Effort Ways to Create Infographics and Visually Appealing Slides (Schrank)

  • Abandon old style formats in favor of cleaner, more user-centered infographics.
  • Avoid confusion, emphasize the most needed information.

Tools Be Damned! Full Speed Ahead (Aschwanden)

  • Tips and shortcuts across several apps, including Google and MS Excel.

Zoom-proof Your Presentations: Delivering Engaging Talks in a Virtual Space (Guren)

  • Help your audience concentrate on content.
  • Avoid distracting behaviors.
  • Pay attention to lighting.

No Money, No Design Skills, No Problem (Parkinson)

  • Free or low-cost resources for illustrations.
  • Handy cheat sheet for building an infographic.

Low-Cost and Low-Effort Ways to Create Infographics and Visually Appealing Slides (Schrank)

  • Excellent basics of building infographics that delight users.
  • Lists of resources. 
  • Review of most-used apps for building infographics and slides.

Kelsey & Ben's Excellent Adventure: A Mentoring Story (Woelk & Loftin)

  • Informal mentoring led to friendship, growth for both.

Get That Interview! How to Beat the Dreaded Applicant Tracking System (Molisani)

  • Formatting resumes to be read by 'bots or people.
  • How to make sure your resume includes what the company wants.

Performing a Skills Inventory and Gap Analysis to Land the Perfect Role (V. Berger)

  • Steps to breaking out of a career rut.
  • Explore different ways to recharge or redirect your career.