Wednesday, February 13 – UX Writing: Users First, Better Products

Storytelling, content strategy, writing-focused design. These labels have been used to help define UX writing. But what, exactly, is it? And why should you care?

Find out how words can make or break your product experience. Through case studies on Google products, learn about the UX writing principles that guide effective design decisions across a wide range of product areas, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, conversation design, social media, messaging, and virtual/augmented reality.

Don’t forget to buy tickets.

NOTE: This is a last-minute change to the program. Yvonne Gando will deliver the presentation she is scheduled to give at the STC Summit in Colorado in May. We get to see it first! (The program changed because Yvonne’s co-presenter for the planned talk had to cancel.)

About the speaker:

Yvonne Gando

Yvonne Gando is a Bay Area, California native and a poet at heart. After teaching poetry and Asian American studies, her path eventually led to tech startups, agency work, and leading in-house writing teams for big box retailers in San Francisco.

Now at Google, she’s currently leading UX writing and immersive storytelling on AR & VR experiences. She has also launched various social apps within Google, including Allo, Duo, Google+ and Hangouts.

Yvonne is also a proud mama, a superfan of crunchy things, and an avid runner.

Event info

Time: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6 p.m.

Location: Highlands Country Club 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA 94618

6:00 to 7:00 pm: Networking, conversation & dinner
7:00 to 7:15 pm: Announcements
7:15 to 8:30 pm: Presentation
8:30 to 9:00 pm: Conversation, follow up on job announcements
9:00 to 9:15 pm: Clear the room; move conversations to the sidewalk

Important notes:

  • Ride sharing. Do you need a ride to the meeting? Contact and we will try to match you with someone who is driving or help to arrange a ride from Rockridge BART.
  • Members of other chapters welcomed. If you belong to another STC chapter, you can attend our meetings for the regular price.
  • IABC members welcome. All members of the San Francisco Chapter of the IABC are welcome to register for Berkeley STC General Meetings at the member price.
  • Non-members can attend. You don’t have to be a member to attend our meetings. See the link above for tickets.
  • Tell us if you’re hiring or job-hunting. Attendees are encouraged to announce open positions or to announce that they are searching for work. Feel free to bring job listings, resumes, or business cards for distribution.

Saturday, January 19: Annual Party and Touchstone Awards

Our annual party features a catered buffet dinner, great companionship with fellow communicators, and valuable door prizes. As in previous years, we will announce the  northern California Technical Communication Competition, Touchstone, winners and display the winning entries throughout the evening. These winners exhibit the best in technical communication. Continue reading

STC Berkeley Job Fair – on a Saturday afternoon, September 29


Are you looking for a job in the field of technical communication? Or considering some change in your tech comm career? You need to attend the fifth annual STC Berkeley job fair. You can talk to recruiters, join in short discussions about career-related topics, and get expert advice about improving your resume. And you can network with other people in the field at the Job Fair.

This year we have moved the Job Fair from Wednesday evening to Saturday afternoon, and extended the time, to make it more convenient for people to attend.


Recruiters from Synergistech and TEKsystems.

Resume advice from Joy Montgomery, author of a book about resume-building.

Progression-style discussions:

  • Open-source projects as an entry into technical writing. Gale Naylor, documentation engineer at Facebook.
  • Going independent: legal considerations. Lindsay Spiller, attorney.
  • Preparing for an interview. Dyana King, career and business coach.*
  • Tech writers and medical writing. Rose Tomey, medical/technical writer and communicator.

* Dyana King asks that anyone who plans to join her progression discussion take the four-minute assessment at anytime before the progression begins. You will get much more out of the discussion if you do.

Time and Place

Saturday, September 29, 2018. Doors open at 11:00 a.m., close at 5:00 p.m.  Recruiters will begin interviewing at noon. Progression discussions 1:00 to 2:00.

The location is the Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley. You can take public transit: the campus is adjacent to the Ashby BART station. The job fair will be just off the main lobby.


$10 reserved online (click below) or $15 at the door.

If you don’t wish to use PayPal, you can reserve a place by sending email to We’ll collect the reserved-in-advance price from you (cash or check) at the door.

You can reserve now using PayPal.

Wednesday, October 10: Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies–Where do Technical Writers Fit In?

Cryptocurrencies are an emerging, unregulated, digital asset that many people are looking to as a new form of money. Blockchain is the technology that supports cryptocurrencies, the “rails” they run on. The world of blockchain and crypto has its own jargon, a growing technology infrastructure, and even some political philosophy behind it.

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September 12: Does the design of a ballot prevent errors in voting?

A California election offered a natural experiment in user interface design—an open Senate seat that would be on the ballot statewide. Ballot designs must adhere to legal, technical, and financial constraints, but there is still room for variation. California’s 58 counties came up with 58 different designs. Nancy Frishberg was part of a group that analyzed the results after the election. They evaluated whether any of the discretionary graphic treatments and county-specific wording achieved better results or fewer errors. Did wording, layout or other graphic design elements lead to more accurate voting (fewer disqualified ballots)?

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August: What Is User Experience? And why should tech writers care

Back in the day, tech writers were the vanguard of software usability; the way to make software easier to use was to write a better user manual. But then along came usability, and writers discovered that they could better serve their readers by helping engineers to make software easier to use. Writers also made their instructions more accessible by providing user assistance in the form of more lucid UI text, tooltips, and context-sensitive help.

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July: Panel of Hiring Managers

Three managers who interview and make hiring decisions regarding technical writers, editors, illustrators or other roles in the broad category of technical documentation will discuss what they are looking for in potential candidates and give you some insight into how they work. There will be time for questions from the meeting attendees.

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