TechComm Today
Jan. 16, 2013

Has your STC membership expired?
If you haven't renewed your STC membership yet, your membership has expired! All memberships ended on 31 December, with a grace period until 15 January. That date has now passed, however, so if you haven't renewed your membership yet then your access to publications, members-only discounts, free archived seminars, and more is gone. Renew today and regain your access! STC would also like to congratulate the winners of our recent promotional contests. Louise Tincher won a free registration to the 2013 Summit, while Paula Ludmann is now the owner of a new Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Congratulations to both Louise and Paula!More

Implementing PSR-3 with log4php
PHP Master
With the recent passage of PSR-3, a standard for a common interface for logging libraries, it seems appropriate to discuss the implementation with log4php, an open source Apache project that is a very versatile logging framework. Through log4php's configuration files, logging has a variety of output locations, so it's possible to send specific log levels to different output locations.More

Early Bird rate now in effect for 2013 STC Summit
The deadline has passed for the best savings, but you can still register for the STC Summit and save. The 2013 Summit takes place from 5-8 May in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the place to be for technical communicators as STC celebrates its 60th year! Early Bird pricing of $950 for members ($1,225 for nonmembers) is in effect through 15 March; that's still $100 less than the regular Advance rate. The year 2013 is STC's diamond anniversary, and the Summit will be a great way to celebrate. Join keynote speaker David Pogue and your colleagues from around the world for education, networking, and a celebration of all things tech comm. Make sure you're at the best tech comm event of 2013 at the best rate possible!More

The new CSS3 relative font sizing units
When it came to CSS font sizing, for a decade we were lumbered with inconsistent keywords (small, medium, large, etc.) and flawed fixed units (px, pt, mm). While the problems associated with px in Internet Explorer have dissipated, % and em remained the best choices — especially for responsive designs. Fortunately, CSS3 provides us with several new alternatives.More

Intercom releases editorial calendar
Want to write for Intercom? STC's award-winning publication released its editorial calendar and welcomes submissions from both members and nonmembers. Topics include content strategy, information design, usability, and more. Articles need not be on any particular month's topic, so if you have an article idea, please send it in for consideration. More

10 useful JavaScript libraries and jQuery plugins for Web developers
Whether you are a novice front end designer or an experienced Web developer, every one of us has faced a situation where we write hundred lines of code and nothing seems to run as expected. If you have experience working in JavaScript and jQuery, then you might understand how troublesome it is to find a simple bug which was left behind unintentionally. Thus, we turn to pre-coded libraries and plugins.More

STC's upcoming education schedule
STC has announced webinars for late January and two certificate courses for February. Webinars include Bridging Real and Virtual: QR Codes, NFC, and Augmented Reality on 29 January; Career Success in 12 Easy Steps — Wake Up to Your Dreams on 30 January, and Freelancing on 31 January. February's webinar schedule will be released soon. If you're looking for more in-depth education, try one of our certificate courses. Currently scheduled are Undiscovered Country: Master Writer, presented by Sharon Burton every Wednesday from 6 February through 6 March; and Usability Testing Essentials: Hands-on Workshop and Best Practices, presented by Carol Barnum every Tuesday from 12 February through 2 April (rescheduled from January). And don't forget that most of our live Web seminars from 2012 are currently available as a recording for just $19 for members!More

Grid-based layouts 101
Design Festival
Learning and understanding how to build a layout is one of the hardest aspects of visual design to master. Many designers have trouble grasping the concept of alignment and how to use grids to make their designs balanced and principled. The reason that grids work so well is because they help you divide content into discrete, manageable modules. This makes your content more flexible and organized. It also makes your content easier to view and experience.More

Responsive vs. adaptive design: Which is best for publishers?
The Huffington Post
Although the differences between responsive and adaptive design are nuanced for the non-developer, the distinctions are increasingly important as publishers see more and more traffic come from mobile devices. It turns out that what's best for publishers depends on what they're trying to achieve with mobile.More

Wireframing with paper and an iPhone
Fast Company
Designers can use paper prototypes to quickly experiment with UI designs fast and even reveal innovative user interactions. A new iPhone app called POP (Prototyping on Paper) lets designers iterate fast in their sketchbooks, then interactively link those sketches together to test them. No coding required.More

UX alert: Is this the year natural computer interaction takes off?
CMS Wire
User experience discussions commonly assume keyboard, mouse or, more recently, touch screen interaction. Arguably, none of these are natural actions. But a raft of new gestural and other "in-the-air" interaction modes being presented at the Consumer Electronics Show and elsewhere suggest that more natural interaction is rapidly progressing beyond touch — possibly leading to the dramatic reinvention of UX.More

What responsive design is not
Webdesigner Depot
We all know why responsive Web design is so important. With the influx of mobile devices, designers need some way to present their sites so that it looks as good to a person on their smartphone as it does while sitting in front of a 27-inch monitor. Responsive design is just that: the technology that keeps things standard across multiple viewing formats. As more and more designers turn to responsive design we start to see — and hear — more about what it is and what it can do for us; but what about the things that responsive design is not?More

Typography 101
Design Festival
Design is about visual communication and effective delivery of a carefully-​​crafted message. The message is delivered through a combination of imagery, color, words and typography. Understanding typography will help you make your message strong, compelling and persuasive. In order to choose the right typeface, you have to understand the fundamentals of type, the differences between typefaces and why you should and shouldn't use different typefaces in certain situations.More