IA Design & Usability: Steven Heitman, Sr. User/Design Researcher, Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Project/Product Manager, Mentor, Usability Expert/Testing, Director

Sr. User/Design Researcher / Information Architect Specialist

User Experience Designer

TPW Cert

Professional Qualifications

Undergraduate Certificate
Department of English Language & Literature

Technical & Professional Writing Certificate 
Equivalent to BATPW

User/Design Research (UX), Information Architecture (IA),
   Usability Testing, User-Centered Design,
   User Experience Design (UXD), Project/Product Management

TPW Cert Deliverables

The TPW Cert university program, equivalent to BATPW, included:

A word about the university programs, the English department offers two BA degrees, one in English and one in Technical and Professional Writing (TPW). In the TPW program, a combination of significant and relevant TPW courses are required.

These courses expose one to the technical writing workplace and environment—specific TPW curriculum for:

User/design research, writing forms, methods and issues, with interdisciplinary electives that further develop related technical communications skills and professional attitudes, including a concentration of a specialized subject matter focus that supplemented technical communications skills for high-tech workplace environments.

The TPW program is a rigorous academic-vocational university program, demanding a tight focus on English and grammar, graphic design theory, typography, information architecture and instructional design and corporate training (via the MAEd program), editing, communications, technical skills, Adobe Creative Suite, FrameMaker, and expected superior writing performance.

A professional technical writing portfolio was successfully completed, including a technical writing and project management internship—in a high-tech environment.

The TPW program demanded that a professional TPW portfolio (organized, tabbed, contained in a binder, TOC, consistent document design, annotated, professional TPW portfolio pieces; letter of recommendation from TPW internship and earned TPW degree) was produced at the onset of the program and pieces successfully completed from TPW courses, reviewed at the midpoint of the program, and successfully completed and approved prior to graduation.

Additionally, the specialized subject matter focus was concentrated in user/design research, technical communications, graphic design, typography, document design, user-centered design, information architecture, usability testing, and quality control on projects.

 Writing is not just the technical act of your fingers on the keyboard. Writing is living. 

TPW Cert Program Details

About TPW Cert Program.pdf
Textbooks Used for TPW.pdf
Letters of Recommendations—Reviews

Steven Heitman, Sr. Information Architect (IA) Specialist, User Experience Designer, Project/Product Manager

Steven Heitman
Sr. User/Design Researcher
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Interaction Designer
User-Centered Designer
Usability Tester
Project/Product Manager

Interdisciplinary University Programs

Information Architecture & Design


User/Design Research (UX), Information Architecture (IA), Navigation Systems Design (NS), User Experience Design (UXD), Structuring & Organizing Web-Based Information, Mobile User Experience, Interaction Design (IXD), User-Centered Design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Human Factors, Visual & Web-Based Designs, Intranet Information Architecture, Designing Complex Applications & Websites, Interface Design, Social Media, Web 2.0, Computer/Web Programming, HTML5/CSS3, Usability Engineering, Usability Testing, Card Sorting, Usability in Practice, Guidelines for Web Usability, Usability Reports/Case Studies, Website Design & Management, and Project/Product Management; internships successfully completed.

TPW Cert Program

San Francisco State University
College of Liberal & Creative Arts
Department of English Language & Literature

TPW Cert Professional Business Career Outlook

User/Design Researcher
Information Architect
User Experience Architect
User Experience Designer
Navigation Systems Designer
User-Centered Designer
Product Designer
Product Prototyper
Research Technician
Corporate Trainer
Instructional Designer
Technical Writer
Quality Control
Mid to Upper Management
Project/Product Management
Product Development
Field Service
Technical Services
Job Development Training
Production Coordinator
Computer/Web Programming
Usability Tester
Information Technology

TPW Cert Professional Business Career Outlook—
Additional Comprehensive Details

Depending on the subject matter focus and/or skills electives, technical and professional writers would be prepared for advanced to entry-level jobs as:

User/design researchers, researchers, technical writers, editors, document designers, creative writers, technical textbook writers, writers of books and novels, desktop or multimedia publishers (Adobe Creative Suite and FrameMaker), technical illustrations, elaborate wire frames (annotated), paper prototyping, information developers and designers, (information architects, user experience designers, information technology), and/or communications managers (producing and overseeing technical documentation for content management systems), strategic design development and planning for design reports.

Writing for Web content and development, interface design, training or support materials (corporate trainers and/or instructional designers), ADDIE model technical specifications and detailed reports, curriculum development reports, educational plans and core requirements, reports or proposals, usability testing plans and reports, information technology reports, technical communications, project/product managers, upper management, speech writing, marketing and strategic communications, targeted promotions or publicity, advertising, and public relations.

TPW Cert Program—Curriculum

Technical & Professional Writing


Technical and professional writers are in demand to link ideas derived from user/design research, coupled with user-centered design, technologies and products with people who need to understand those developments or to use them.

San Francisco State University’s TPW program can prepare you for that critical communications role through major, minor and certificate programs.

Technical and professional writers work in almost every field of industry and public life, including high-technology industries, business, government and research and nonprofit organizations. These career writers not only write and edit many types of documents in different media and for user/design research, but they also sometimes manage documentation and communication projects.

TPW Major Description

San Francisco State University is the only college in California that offers a Bachelor’s degree in Technical and Professional Writing.

The subject matter focus is restricted either to a recognized communications or technical-professional specialization or to an approved interdisciplinary theme.

My specialized theme was user/design research, graphic design, technical communications, including technical specifications for information technology and user experience design projects—writing software documentation: a task-oriented approach—as well as user/design research, information architecture, user-centered design, usability testing, extensive technical reports, and case studies.

This included technical applications and problem solving competencies—with clear high-tech career applications, geared for user/design research, information architecture, user experience design, and user-centered design.

Portfolios Required

TPW Cert Additional Information

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Steven Heitman
IA Design & Usability

Sr. User/Design Researcher
Information Architect
User Experience Designer
Interaction Designer
User-Centered Designer
Usability Tester
Project/Product Manager

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Updated: October 1, 2018