Away with Words - The Semantic Sequel Christchurch Workshop

Patrick Hofmann, a User Experience Designer at Google in Australia, presents this workshop, which is a follow on from his August webinar "What technical writing taught me about design at Google".

In Patrick's words; "Following our August webinar, where we studied the foundations of technical writing that have stood the test of time and rule me from day to day, can we identify any foundations that have irrevocably changed? Over the last fifteen years, I made frequent visits across New Zealand and the technical communication community, proclaiming the power of wordlessness! During the same time, we experienced a lightning-fast revolution of digital technology and social information that has dramatically changed the way we consume and communicate information, and collaborate with it. Naturally and undoubtedly, this has impacted my design and research of visual information. Have my stances on wordlessness changed? Are there claims that I made and principles that I taught over the years that I’d like to retract? Let’s take an intense but humorous look at the last fifteen years, and look beyond to the next fifteen."

This workshop will cover the following:

  • Reading exercises: meeting the speed of eye-patterns
  • Dispensing nuggets: studying the evolution of bite-sized information
  • Demonstrating not explaining: empowering users with show-and-tell
  • Balancing learnability and usability: allowing for failure to breed intuition
  • Abandoning standards: debating the design and craft of words
  • The power of pictures: new avenues of inspiration and importance
  • The failure of pictures: where my theories have tanked
  • Predicting the future: where are we headed?


Costs for the workshop are:

  • Members: $368.00 incl GST
  • Student members: $253.00 incl GST
  • Non-members: $523.25 incl GST.

Note: Members = members of TechCommNZ and affiliated organisations: NZATD, TWIA, PRINZ.
Cost covers tea/coffee, a light lunch and course materials.

Please read our payment terms and conditions.

Session details


Friday 25 September 2015
Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Tea and coffee will be served on arrival from 8:30am.

Location: Streamliners Limited,
44 Braddon Street, Addington, Christchurch ( location map)

Please review the map or directions to the venue you will be visiting. You might find it useful to print them out for reference on the day of the workshop.

About the presenter

Patrick has over 20 years of experience in making products easier to use -- by focusing on visual strategies to improve product usability and internationalisation, and advancing the standards of wordless instructions and user interfaces.
He is seasoned in leading interaction design projects, building interactive prototypes, coordinating and conducting usability tests, and practising appropriate user-centred design methodologies for a variety of worldwide clients and industries.

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