Linda Urban's Resume PDF version
Content Design and Development • Consulting, Coaching, and Mentoring
Front-end Analysis, Needs Assessment, and Workplace Research
Usability • Instructional Design and Development • Training
Summary: Award-winning technical communicator and instructor. Skilled in assessing project requirements, audience needs, and developing appropriate solutions on time, within budget.
Information Design, Technical Writing, and Online Help Systems: Design and create online help, user guides, tutorials, reference manuals, and training materials for software, hardware, and web-based products, and for general business processes.
Develop content for range of audiences, from developers and other highly technical users to not-so-technical end users who may be experts in a domain, but not experts in computer use.
Received awards from the Society for Technical Communication for several projects.
User Interface Design and Usability: Work closely with business analysts and programmers during product development to improve usability and fine-tune product interfaces. Set up and facilitate usability sessions and recommend product changes. Create user interface style guides and review products to insure consistency in screen design and interaction.
Instructional Design, Training, Coaching, and Developmental Editing: Develop curriculum, courses, and supporting materials for instructors and students. Lead classroom and virtual training. Consult with and coach managers and writers on business and technical writing projects, documentation planning and design, usability, and improving individual writing skills. Provide developmental edits to writers at various stages of documentation development.
Clients have ranged from small start-up companies to large corporations. Partial list of clients includes 3ware (now part of LSI), Apple Computer, Charles Schwab & Co, Corrigo, eiStream Viewstar (now part of Global 360), Fluke Corporation, Health Systems Design (now part of Dell), Hewlett-Packard, ILOG (now part of IBM), Intuit, Lundeen and Associates, Polycom, Siebel Systems, and Varian Medical Systems.
A list of projects is provided below.
Teach topics in technical communication, typically one course per quarter (evenings or weekends). Develop course outlines, materials, and handouts. Consistently receive excellent student evaluations.
Received Honored Instructor recognition from UCB Extension, Fall 2000.
Member of the Advisory Committee for the Certificate in Technical Communication, UCB Extension, approximately 2000 to 2008
Courses taught include (schedule determined by the UC Extensions):
Managed the usability and user interface design process for Corrigo's product line of web-based and mobile device interfaces.
Established regular usability testing of key features for quarterly product releases. Located participants, created test scenarios, facilitated usability sessions, and recommended changes to screens and interaction behavior based on findings.
Promoted user-centered design practices throughout the development process. Observed and interviewed users and coordinated feature validation sessions with users for product managers and engineers. Worked with professional services to understand user needs and requests.
Developed the User Interface Style Guide for Corrigo's primary web-based application. Clarified and defined UI elements and behavior. Worked with visual designers to refine and include information on colors, spacing, dimensions, and other aesthetic considerations. Worked with engineers to insure consistent application of guidelines to the product. Published regular updates as the UI design evolved.
Contributed to the design and development of web-based training and online help. Designed an html-based online help solution to work with the browser-based application. Worked with the visual designers and content developers in designing the approach for web-based training. Reviewed training and help content and style. Co-authored a use case for embedded help.
Coordinated change control process. Coordinated and participated in cross-functional work sessions between professional services, product development, engineering, and QA to insure user feedback and requirements were presented, understood, and prioritized.
M.S. Instructional and Performance Technology, Boise State University (In process: Expected 2013)
B.A. from University of California at Berkeley (English)
Graduate courses in Psychology at John F. Kennedy University
Card-Sorting for Information Architecture Design, Janice James, Carol Righi, and Larry Wood, UPA Conference, June 2006
Building Affinity Diagrams & Visioning Techniques, Shelley Wood, UPA Conference, June 2006
Structured FrameMaker: Authoring, MicroType, 2005
Structured FrameMaker: Developing EDDs, MicroType, 2005
FrameMaker Template Design, MicroType, 2005
The Graying of Design/The Psychology of Aging: Improving Interaction through Understanding, Kathleen Straub, UPA Conference, June 2004
Basic Metadata and Taxonomy Design, Amy Warner, IA Summit, February 2004
Intermediate/Advanced Metadata and Taxonomy Design, Amy Warner, IA Summit, February 2004
Evaluating for Accessibility, Usability Testing in Diverse Situations, Shawn Lawton Henry and Mary Martinson, UPA Conference, June 2003
Model Driven Usage-Centered Design: Using Abstract Models for Better Visual and Interaction Design, Larry Constantine, UPA Conference, June 2003
Using Goal-Directed Design, Kim Goodwin of Cooper, UIE 7 seminar, 2003
Roadmap to Markup Success: Understanding Structure and Style, Molly Holzschlag and Eric Meyer, UIE 7 seminar, 2003
Single-sourcing for Mere Mortals, David Knopf, WinWriters seminar, 2003
Human Factors in Information Design, Dr. William Gribbons, Bentley College, West Coast offering, October 2002
From Construct to Structure: Information Architecture from Mental Models, Peter Merholz and Indi Young of Adaptive Path, UIE 6 seminar, 2002
Simplicity in Information Architecture Design: How to Design a Simple Yet Robust Information Architecture, Gerry McGovern, UIE 6 seminar, 2002
XML Fundamentals, Joel Sklar, WinWriters tutorial, 2002
Instructor Development Workshop Series, UC Berkeley Extension, Fall 2001
Inventing the Future: User Interface Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation, UC Berkeley Summer Engineering Institute, June 2001
Conducting a Hands-on Usability Study: A Participative Tutorial, UPA Conference, August 2000
User-Centered Design in Your Organization, UPA Conference Tutorial, August 2000
Documentation Databases: Developing a Single Sourcing Strategy, JoAnn Hackos & Ann Rockley, WinWriters tutorial, 1999
Developing Training, UC Berkeley Extension, 1993
Primary tools include: FrameMaker, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, RoboHelp, Webworks ePublisher, WebWorks Publisher 2003, Adobe Acrobat, Paint Shop Pro, SnagIt.
Other tools used as needed on projects include: Arbortext Editor, Dreamweaver, Visio, PhotoShop, and others.
Familiar with basic HTML and CSS coding, and with Winhelp coding “under the hood.”
Adept at learning new tools quickly.
Society for Technical Communications, Senior Member
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), Member
International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), Member
Usability Professionals Association (UPA), Member
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Member
ACM SIGCHI (Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction), Member
ACM SIGDOC (Special Interest Group on Documentation), Member
Information Architecture Institute, Member
3ware, Inc (now part of LSI)
Programmer's API Guide, for a RAID controller, created in 2003, updated in 2004 through 2009. Also produced an online, HTML-based version)
3ware Escalade ATA RAID Controller User's Guide (7000/8000 series), 2004
3ware Escalade ATA RAID Controller Installation Guide (7000/8000 series), 2004
3ware Serial ATA RAID Controller User's Guide (9000 series, multiple versions), 2004 through 2009
3ware Serial ATA RAID Controller Installation Guide (9000 series models, multiple versions), 2004 through 2009
3ware Serial ATA RAID Controller Command Line Interface Guide (multiple versions), 2004 through 2009
3ware Serial ATA RAID Controller User Guide for the Power Mac G5, 2006
Designs for Newsletters, for use with PageMaker, 1986.
Lisadraw User Guide (second release of Lisa software), 1984.
Lisa Office System Manual (second release of Lisa software), 1984.
Lisawrite Training and Reference (first release of Lisa software), 1982.
User Interface Style Guide (working document, updated regularly as the UI design evolved), 2000-2001.
WIDE Data Dictionary (Worldwide Database for Education), version D.01 1999.
WIDE Data Dictionary (Worldwide Database for Education), version C.01.1 1998.
Reporting on the Web: Guide for Education Department Web Masters, 1998.
Training Management System Reference, Chapters on Cost Tracking and Training Requirements Planning, 1997.
Training Management System Fundamentals, Chapters on Tracking Costs and Training Requirements Planning, 1996.
Using EMS in Your Staffing Department, 1994.
Writing Quality Plans, A Guide for Software Projects, 1990.
Learning HP Access, Using HP Access, 1990.
HP NewWave User Guide, Chapter 2: Paperwork, 1989. (STC Award Winner)
Microsoft Word Manual for the HP 150.
Quicken User Guide for the Macintosh, version one, 1988.
Quicken, version 1 for the Macintosh and version 3 for the IBM PC, 1989.
Lundeen & Assoc.
Marketing brochure for integrated software under development, 1992.
Features and benefits statements for products under development, 1992.
Express Check It Quick Start, 1991.
Express Check It User Guide, 1991.
Polycom Conference Suite Administrators Guide, 2003, updated 2004.
Using Polycom Conference Suite Scheduling in Outlook, 2003, updated 2004.
Polycom Conference Suite Scheduling Guides for Outlook, Lotus Notes, and web-scheduling, 2004
ReadiManager LX 100 Administrator’s Guide, 2004.
ReadiManager LX 100 Web Scheduling Guide, 2004.
ReadiManager LX 100 Scheduling Guides for Outlook, Lotus Notes, and web-scheduling, 2004.
Reliable Power Meters (now part of Fluke Corporation)
InSite Installation Guide, 2000, Revision, 2003
MultiPoint Power Recorder Installation Guide, 1999
Scenario Preliminary User Guide, 1998.
Power Recorder System Software User Manual, 1997.
Polling/Annunciation User Manual, 1997. (STC Award Winner)
Report Writer User Manual, 1997.
Omega Power Analysis System User Manual, 1995.
Application Administration Guide, Version 7, 2001. Contributed to writing and coordinated work by multi-author team for Part 1 of this guide. Coordinated writing, editing, review, and approval process. Added required material for Revision A, 12/2001
Complex Order Management Guide for Industry Solutions, 2001 (Version 7); wrote Overview chapter.
Siebel Order Management Guide, 2002 (Version 7.5), wrote complete guide for administrators.
The Well Members Guide: Online Access to People and Ideas, 1995.
Using PaperWorks on a PC, 1992.
Using PaperWorks from a Fax Machine, 1992.
3+Menus Reference Guide.
These projects were single-sourced to HTML from print-based documentation using FrameMaker or Word and WebWorks Publisher or ePublisher. For dedicated online help systems, see Online Help.
3ware, Inc. (now part of LSI)
Programmer's API Guide, for a RAID controller, created in 2003, updated in 2004 through 2009. (Also produced an online, HTML-based version.)
3DM 2 Online Help, html-based help for 3ware Disk Manager web application. Multiple versions in 2004 through 2009.
HTML Bookshelf, HTML version of combined User Guide and CLI Guide, 2006, 2007, 2009.
Polycom Conference Suite Administrator’s Guide, integrated into web application, 2004.
Polycom Conference Suite Web Scheduling Guide, integrated into web application, 2004.
Using Polycom Conference Suite Scheduling in Outlook, CHM integrated into Outlook plug-in, 2004
Using Polycom Conference Suite Scheduling in Lotus Notes, CHM integrated into Notes plug-in, 2004
ReadiManager LX 100 Administrator’s Guide, integrated into web application, 2004.
ReadiManager LX 100 Web Scheduling Guide, integrated into web application, 2004.
ReadiManager LX 100 Scheduling Guides for Outlook and Lotus Notes, CHMS integrated into Outlook and Notes plug-ins, 2004.
Siebel Order Management Guide, version 7.5, 2002
These projects were developed as dedicated online help systems. For HTML-based documentation single-sourced from print, see Online Documentation.
Charles Schwab, & Co.
OMNI Help, Design and information architecture of online help for internal application that manages client and account data, 2002.
Design and prototype for web-based help for CorrigoNet, a web-based application, 2000.
Design and preliminary version for web-based help integrated into the user interface of CorrigoConnect, a web-based application, 2006-2007.
eiStream ViewStar (now part of Global 360)
Converted BPI Help (an API reference) from WinHelp to HTML Help for new release, 2002.
Updated formats, incorporated changes to content, converted files, cleaned up resulting HTML, and produced final compiled help for release. Tools used included RoboHelp, RoboHTML, and FAR.
Exactly! for Photographers Online Help, for Windows and Macintosh platforms. Created initially as WinHelp, and then ported to Webhelp (a cross-platform, cross-browser solution), 1999.
Fluke Power Analyze Online Help System, Windows HTML Help, 2006.
Registration on the Web, HTML-based Help for Web-based application, 1997.
TMS Training Requirements Planning online help, in Microsoft Windows, 1997.
TMS Cost Tracking Module online help, in Microsoft Windows, 1996.
EMS Help, online help facility for Hewlett-Packard‘s Employment Management System, in Microsoft Windows. Versions 1.0, 2.0, 2.5, & 3.0; 1993, 1994, 1995.
Staffing Requisition Form online help, in Microsoft Windows, 1995.
HP NewWave Agents online help facility, 1990.
NewWave Write, Text Note, Dictionaries Tool online help facilities, 1989. (STC Award Winner)
Reliable Power Meters (now part of Fluke)
Scenario Online Help System, Windows HTML Help, 1999. (STC Award Winner)
Power Recorder System Software Online Help, in Microsoft Windows, 1997.
Omega Power Analysis System Online Help, in Microsoft Windows, versions 1.0 and 2.0, 1995.
Fax Help, (allowed people to receive faxed information about PaperWorks from a PC running PaperWorks), 1992.
LisaWrite Training and Reference (self-paced tutorial), 1982.
Berkeley High School
Developed and presented training sessions to high school teachers in computer basics and word processing, 1999. (Volunteer)
Charles Schwab & Co
Trained and mentored writer to develop and maintain web-based online help for OMNI, an internal application, 2002.
Trained dozens of individuals at customer sites throughout Northern California to use computers for word processing and business applications, 1977 - 1979.
Reviewed and provided editorial feedback on training manuals, web-based training, and online help, 2000 to 2001.
Health Systems Design (now part of Dell)
Trained technical writing staff in WinHelp and RoboHelp basics, 1999.
Consulted with and acted as developmental editor for the support specialist during creation of product release notes, 1995.
Developed classroom training, an Instructor's Guide, and handouts for EMS 2.0 Staffing Training, EMS 2.0 Recruiter Training, and EMS 2.5 Staffing Training, 1994, 1995.
Created EMS 1.0 Instructors Guide for classroom training (HP‘s Employment Management System), 1993.
Edited the revised Quality Planning booklets for Corporate Quality department, consulting with the writer to improve organization and clarify content, 1991.
Coached managers in writing overviews and instructions for using internal product development tools and methods, 1991.
ILOG (now part of IBM)
Adapted classroom-based training for use in instructor-led virtual environment. Restructured slides, activities, and workbooks. 2010
Adapted classroom-based training to online self-paced format. Restructed and revised slides, activites, and workbooks. Scripted and recorded instructor presentations in Captivate. 2010.
Developed classroom-based training Authoring Business Rules in IBM WebSphere ILOG Rule Team Server V7.1. Revised previous version, restructuring for improved instruction and updating for new software release. Provided slides and accompanying workbook. 2010
Developed classroom-based training Authoring Business Rules in IBM WebSphere ILOG Rule Team Server V7.0. Revised previous version, improving and clarifying key concepts and updating for new software release. Provided slides and accompanying workbook. 2009
Developed classroom-based training ILOG JRules 6.6 Business User Training (one of two course developers). Contributed to design of course, developed course materials (PPT slides and workbook), and integrated code-based practices developed by subject matter expert. Participated in pilot of course and identified required changes. Prepared and conducted "Train-the-Trainer" session after course completion. 2007-2008.
Worked on solution for modularizing training content, for easier reuse across audiences and platforms, 2008-2009.
Assisted in facilitating and coordinating alignment of training approach and development across product lines, 2007-2008.
Worked with entry level and intermediate technical writers to develop their abilities in writing, organizing, and presenting information, and in working within set schedules and costs, 1983 to present.
Reviewed and critiqued existing documentation for Ofoto, and provided developmental editing during revision of the Ofoto User Manual, version 2.0, 1994.
Park Day School
Trained K-6 teachers in computer technology and software applications. Developed materials, created and presented training sessions, and worked one-on-one with individual teachers, 1992 - 1998. (Volunteer)
Extension Instructor and member of the Advisory Committee for the Certificate Program in Technical Communications.
Develop curriculum, course materials, and teach the following courses, 1995 to the present.
UC Santa Cruz
Extension Instructor in the Technical Communication Program.
Develop curriculum, course materials, and teach the following courses, Spring 2001 to January 2010.
Developed the user interface style guide for Corrigo‘s primary web-based application, 2000 – 2001. Clarified and defined desired UI elements and behavior, drawing upon the results of usability testing, heuristic evaluation, and research into guidelines and best practices for standard GUI and web interfaces. Worked with visual designers to refine and include information on colors, spacing, dimensions, and other aesthetic considerations. Published regular updates as the UI design evolved.
Contributed to use case development as UI and interaction designer. Worked closely and actively with product managers, visual designers, and engineers to insure ease of use, consistency, and clarity in screen presentation and interaction design.
Reliable Power Meters (now part of Fluke)
Worked closely with the primary developer to develop and fine-tune the user interface for RPM‘s software product Scenario. Contributed to the interface design of a beta release of the product in 1998, a preliminary release in 1999, and a revised release in 2000.
Varian Medical System
Worked with the usability team to develop design directions and develop the form and behavior specification for products under development, 12/2003 to Summer 2004.
Developing user interface style guide for product, Fall 2004.
Reviewed user interfaces of numerous software and hardware products during development of documentation and made significant contributions to the user interface of products for Exactly Vertical, Hewlett-Packard, Intuit, Lundeen & Associates, and Xerox. Focused on bringing the user perspective into product development to improve usability.
Participated in usability testing of training and reference manuals for Lisawrite.
Managed usability process for product line, May 2000 – June 2001.
Established regular usability testing of key features for quarterly product releases. For each release, identified and prioritized key features to be tested for usability. Located participants, created test scenarios, facilitated usability sessions, and recommended changes to screens and interaction behavior for web-based and WAP interfaces. Used a combination of paper-prototype and HTML mock-ups for testing.
Observed and interviewed users and coordinated feature validation sessions with users for product managers and engineers. Worked with professional services to understand user needs and requests. Provided usability review of features during development of use cases and implementation.
Participated in usability testing of online help for NewWave Write, observed participants using online help and beta documentation as they performed tasks with the product. Used to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the documentation materials, 1988.
Developed a testing instrument and used it to test the user guide provided with the Ricoh FT6750 copier from Ricoh. Wrote a report detailing the results of the user testing, 1991.
"Playing in the Game Room," a chapter in the Macintosh Playhouse by Jonathan Price, Hayden Books, 1994. (STC Award Winner)
Computing with ClarisWorks (co-authored with Price, Renner, et. al.), South-Western Publishing, 1993.
The Definitive Word Processing Book (co-authored with Jonathan Price), Viking-Penguin, 1984.
"Word Processing on the IBM Personal Computer," a chapter in the IBM Personal Computer Handbook, And/Or Press, 1983.
"Topic-Based Authoring: Getting a Handle on Topic Types," a half-day workshop presented at WritersUA, March 13, 2011.
Panelist on "Trends in Technical Communication Panel," at East Bay Chapter of the STC, March 3, 2011.
"Topic-Based Authoring: Getting Your Feet Wet," a day-long workshop presented at STC France, May 2009; at DocTrain West, March 2009; at Technical Communication UK, September 2009; at Berkeley STC, October 2009; at East Bay Chapter of STC, June 2010; and at Technical Communication UK, September 2010.
"Paths to Success: Networking and Contributing (It's all about relationships)," presented at the STC France Chapter Annual Conference, February 2007, STC San Francisco chapter, September 2007, DocTrain East, October 2008, DocTrain West, March 2009, Technical Communication UK, October 2009, and STC Technical Communication Summit, 2011
"On the Road to Modular Training Content: A Case Study," presented at DocTrain West, May 2008
"Information Design: An Orientation for Editors," at the Bay Area Editor's Forum, October 2007
"Integrating User Assistance Into the User Interface: A Case Study," presented at the Documentation and Training Conference, April 2007 and October 2006
"Sharing Your Expertise: Putting Together a Presentation or Workshop," presented at the STC France Chapter Annual Conference, February 2007
"Avoiding Pitfalls When Single-Sourcing Print and Online," presented at WritersUA Conference, April 2006.
"Usability for Writers, Editors, and Managers," a workshop presented at the New Mexico Kachina chapter of the STC, October 2005
"What's New in Online Help," present at the East Bay STC chapter, May 2005
"Starting Documentation Early in the Product Development Cycle," presented at the Sonoma State Computer Science Colloquium, December 2004
"Information Architecture for Technical Communicators," presented at the East Bay STC chapter meeting, May 2004 and at the San Francisco STC chapter meeting, November 2004
"Developing Accessible Information," presented at WritersUA Conference, March 2004
"HTML Help: Under the Hood," presented at Berkeley STC monthly meeting, July 2003
"Visual Design of Help Topics: An Introduction," a guest speaker presentation at Mick Renner's UCB Extension course, Visual Design for Technical Communication, May, 2003
"Usability Techniques for Technical Communicators," a presentation at the STC Sacramento Chapter meeting, April 2, 2003
"Designing Usable Help Topics: Editorial and Visual Considerations," presented at WinWriters, February 2002
"Getting a Fresh Perspective on Your Help Design," presented at WinWriters, February 2003