Director of Technical Communication
I direct the technical communication program at The University of Oklahoma. The program is particularly focused on user-centered design; that is, teaching STEM students about creating customized documents for specific users not by guessing about what audiences like, want, and need (commonly known as a best practices or universal principals approach) but rather by formally studying, interviewing, and observing the ways audiences actually use a document or communique. Standards change across audience and purpose, good writers prepare for that change. Further, this course focuses on the rapid democratization of expertise that is occurring in the 21st Century. From medical patients who have a particular feeling of what treatment they need from reading WebMD, to neighborhood residents who disagree with an architect at a city planning townhall--more and more technical communicators must learn to write with rather than for audiences, who want to participate in the creation of texts and designs.