User/Design Researcher / Information Architect Specialist
User Experience Designer
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
MAEd & MAIA
Information Architecture (IA) & Design
Certifications of Approval and Abstracts
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. ”
Interdisciplinary University Programs
Information Architecture & Design
User/Design Research, Information Architecture (IA), Navigation Systems Design (NS), User Experience Design (UXD), Structuring & Organizing Web-Based Information, Mobile User Experience, Interaction Design, User-Centered Design, Human-Computer Interaction, 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
→ Graduate College of Education
→ Department of Instructional Technologies
→ Supplemental to the Graduate-Level MAEd Program
TPW Cert. Professional Business Career Outlook
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.
◼ Description for Major in Technical and Professional Writing
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.
A robust undergraduate-level program, combined with a graduate-level program—excellence in education!
◼ Portfolios Required
TPW Cert. Focus
Technical writers communicate information architecture and design concepts to clients in written reports—all aspects and components of information architecture documentation—mapping and diagramming—derived from user/design research.
Other components for Corporate Training and Instructional Design require technical writing, as well as information architecture, including usability testing.
The program promotes hands-on vocational training, geared for high-tech employment and supplemental to the MAEd program. Professional writers also develop a portfolio derived from real-world technical and professional writing projects.
The portfolio and internship are required components to this program. In order to graduate, the portfolio must pass a rigorous review; TPW internship successfully completed.
TPW Cert. Letter of Recommendation
“ During his [ Steven Heitman’s ] internship, he project managed his teammates developing timelines and project scopes for each of the deliverables: a brochure, press kit, and online tutorial. As a technical writer, he interviewed community members, wrote, edited, and designed our marketing materials…. He was always on time for meetings and participated at a professional level. I found him to be a mature individual, self-starter and able to do the work as a technical writer, editor, project manager. ”
Mr. Pedroza, B.B.S.
ParkScan Technical Services and Outreach Coordinator
Neighborhood Parks Council
User Experience Designer
TPW Cert. Program Details
◼ About TPW Cert. Program.pdf
◼ Textbooks Used for TPW.pdf
◼ Letters of Recommendations—Reviews
TPW Cert. Campus
The TPW Cert. program at San Francisco State University,
College of Liberal and Creative Arts, provided great courses—very specific to-the-point-relevant curricula (from all the university programs)—for doing:
User/design research, information architecture, user experience design, interaction design, interface design, user-centered design, social media, usability testing, management, including technical and professional writing.
◼ San Francisco State University
TPW Program Award
Society of Technical Communication, San Francisco Chapter—
TPW Program at SF State Receives Certificate of Excellence.
◼ Certificate of Excellence.pdf
Multimedia Studies Program
College of Extended Learning
◼ ID&T Cert.
IA Design & Usability
User Experience Designer
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Updated: May 1, 2018