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January 30, 2018

Save the Date!

Test - Usability Challenges for Technical Communication (Kopie 1)

The first tekom Belgium event in 2018 is on "Usability Challenges for Technical Communication" and will take place on January 30 in Antwerp.

Event info

  • Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018
  • Time: 13:00-18:00
  • Venue: KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts, Sint-Andriesstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp
  • Room: STA 0.32 

Three speakers will be sharing their experiences on usability in technical communication and the challenges of working with third-party content.

Join us and don't forget to register for the event by Sunday, January 28!


13:00Registration and welcome
Dr. Birgitta Meex, tekom Belgium
13:30Usability Engineering for Technical Communicators
Hans-Jörg Elsen, Varian Medical Systems
14:30Working with third-party content. What are the challenges?
Jennifer O‘Neill, UTC Fire & Security
15:30Coffee break and networking
16:00Presentation 3 tbc
17:00Reception and networking
18:00End of event


Presentation 1:

Usability Engineering for Technical Communicators

Hans-Jörg Elsen, Varian Medical Systems

Over the past few years, the „usability“ of products has gained a great deal of attention not only in expert discussions. The huge success of easy-to-use digital devices like smartphones or tablet computers is for sure one of the most important drivers of this change. And in the very near future, the increasing availability of “Internet of Things” technology and Smart Devices will further boost the demand for truly “user-friendly” interfaces.

Nevertheless, usability and technical documentation experts seem to have only few touch points. This is surprising if we think about the fact that both groups basically share a common mission: to achieve the best possible user assistance.

In his presentation, Hans-Jörg will give basic insights into the “Usability” subject with a focus on common aspects of Technical Communication and Usability Engineering. Furthermore, he will discuss areas of Usability Engineering where technical writers could play an active role with their specific expertise. The presentation is aimed at everyone who is interested in the “Usability” subject and enjoys looking beyond his or her professional backyard.


Hans-Jörg Elsen holds a Master of Arts in German Linguistics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Technology (RWTH) Aachen. He has been working as a Technical Communicator for about 20 years. His special interests are user assistance and usability engineering.

Presentation 2:

Working with third-party content. What are the challenges?

Jennifer O‘Neill, UTC Fire & Security

Companies are increasingly outsourcing the engineering and manufacturing of their products to reduce costs. Instead of doing these tasks in-house themselves for a product (whether hardware or software), they buy the required parts or software from another company to sell to their customers. They may even collaborate with a third-party company to customize that company’s products, thereby avoiding the cost maintaining an R&D site and factories of their own. Most of these third-party companies today are based in Asia, in particular in China. 

This presentation will discuss the issues technical writers can face when working with content developed by another company. We’ll look at such topics as working with sub-standard English, localization, tools, terminology management, project management, and working with multiple external teams who may be dispersed globally.

Presentation 3: tbc

Information on the topic and speaker coming soon.


Register here for the event by Sunday, January 28, 2018!