2012–2013 Competition Categories
The Willamette Valley Chapter sponsors competitions
User Support Materials
Entries, including Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files, are accepted in any category regardless of media.
Informational Materials Category
Definition: Entries that are:
1) designed to attract potential buyers while providing information about a technical or scientific subject, product, service, or organization, and
2) intended to inform the user of information without a specific call to action.
The materials must persuade the audience favorably toward the subject or sponsor. Visual design, including production, is very important. So, too, is editing, because errors are very obvious.
Entry Types: Annual reports, articles, books, error messages, magazines, newsletters, periodicals, posters, research papers, and websites
1. Annual Reports are publications that summarize the activities or financial position of corporations, government agencies, or nonprofit community organizations. "Annual Reports" includes reports that comply with the regulations of government agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as reports of unregulated, nonprofit organizations. The design should support the focus and projected image of the entity, and present financial and technical information in a visual manner.
2. Articles include scholarly articles, professional articles, and trade or news articles.
Scholarly/professional articles are single articles appearing in academic or professional journals or in a scholarly book as an original contribution of knowledge.
Trade/news articles are single articles appearing in trade journals or general interest periodicals and are not original contributions of knowledge.
3. Books include bound, printed matter usually sold to the public through a bookseller, or e-books. For this competition, a book is defined as a lengthy document covering one technical subject that is intended for sale to the public.
4. Periodicals include magazines, newsletters, and scholarly and professional journals that are covered and bound or published in an electronic format.
IMPORTANT: Submit three consecutive issues as a single entry.
Magazines have features and regular columns in an established format that people recognize. Advertising may or may not be included. They are controlled by identifiable publishers or owners and served by editorial staff. Magazines can contain news and information about an organization, technology, industry, or scientific field. They can serve either an internal, external, special interest, or general public audience.
Newsletters are regularly scheduled publications with brief articles and a flexible format. They generally have lower budgets and fewer pages than magazines, and may or may not have photographs and illustrations. Newsletters are generally about a company's or organization’s employees or products, and they may be intended for an internal or external audience. Their primary purpose is to deliver information that, at the same time, will interest the reader and promote the interests of the sponsor.
Scholarly/professional journals appear as serial publications with features and regular columns in established formats that people recognize. Advertising may or may not be included. They are controlled by identifiable publishers and served by editorial staff. Writing style may tend to be relatively formal, and design creativity may be limited, in keeping with standards defined by expectations of the profession. Journals are usually targeted for a limited and specialized audience and typically contain information about research and developments in a particular discipline or profession.
5. Technical Reports report on scientific or technical efforts, usually aimed at the professional community or a contracting agency.
Instructional Materials Category
Definition: Entries that train a user/learner on a particular set of skills and knowledge
Entry Types: CBTs, WBTs, facilitator guides, instructional animations or videos, student guides, tutorials, and webinars
1. Tutorials and Training that have a primary purpose of teaching the techniques for using the main features and capabilities of a product, or of assisting in the process of teaching using computer-based training applications, tutorials, online lesson books, and training aids.
2. Training materials include student guides, tutorials, workbooks, and instructor guides, or sets of these pieces. They should also display good use of motivational techniques (cartoon characters, themes, human interest stories, color); layout or content that readily pulls readers in and keeps them interested in using the materials; student participation, such as exercises; and mechanisms for learners to check their knowledge, such as quizzes and tests.
Promotional Materials Category
Definition: Entries that are intended to market or promote a product, company, individual, or event. The materials must persuade the audience to some action, using integrated text and figures. Visual design, including production, is very important. So, too, is editing, because errors are very obvious.
Entry Types: Brochures, catalogs, flyers, posters, and websites
1. Brochures and Catalogs may be used to deliver information about technical products and services. Brochures should inform people about a product or the features or benefits of products. Catalogs should present large amounts of data in a readable format and provide information on ordering the product or service while being visually pleasing.
2. Flyers (advertisements, product data sheets, single-unit promotional handouts, and multiple-page publications) market a technical product, service, or organization. Corporate and program identity materials (folders, stationery, logos, etc.) are acceptable if they communicate technical information or images. Do not mount entries larger than 11 x 17. Roll up the entry and send in a mailing tube. Otherwise, smaller physical entries must be mounted.
3. Posters support or market an employee campaign, a technical product, an organization, an event, or communicate educational information (as opposed to marketing) about a technical or scientific subject, service, or organization. The entry description should include information about the poster use. Do not mount entries larger than 11 x 17. Roll up the entry and send in a mailing tube. Otherwise, smaller physical entries must be mounted.
4. Websites include those that might include interactive (online) or static, non-interactive information (online or print) describing or defining the main features of a product or product line.
User Support Materials Category
Definition: Entries that provide information needed to support the user in performing specific tasks for independent use by the audience.
Entry Types: Online help, job aids, quick start or reference guides, reference documents, user guides, and websites.
1. Job Aids or Quick Start Guides have the primary purpose of assisting the user to complete a set of tasks or solve a set of problems. Examples might include troubleshooting tools, wizards or wizard-like task completion tools, quick start guides, and automated support tools.
2. Help includes online information that has a primary purpose of providing immediate assistance to individuals while they use a product. It provides information appropriate to the task on an as-needed or as-requested basis. Help might include general help, procedural help, cue cards, examples, performance support, videos, laminated quick reference cards, and integrated user assistance.
3. Organizational manuals include content and tone that are usually company-dictated. Entries might include employee manuals, policy and procedure manuals, and style guides.
4. Quick References include materials that provide concise reference to essential features of a technical product, service, or subject. The emphasis is on presenting essential information concisely and in a way that it is quick and easy to find. They often contain graphic devices and other job aids to help fulfill their purpose.
5. Reference Documents that have the primary purpose of defining or explaining structure, results, words, problems, or parameters. Examples might include online dictionaries, glossaries, function or object descriptions, data structure definitions, encyclopedias, directories, software documentation sets, multivolume reference materials, and videos.
6. User Guides are intended to provide informational or instructional processes on the use of a specific device or application. Examples might include computer hardware guides, documentation sets, hardware/software combination guides, non-computer equipment guides, and software guides.