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Operating at the Edge of Technology

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In 1999, the mobile wireless Web was an exciting new technology that seemed poised to open up new and challenging types of work for technical communicators. But less than 3 years later, the mobile wireless Web had fallen flat, beset by design problems, unmet user expectations, new technologies, and financial problems, and the “new and challenging types of work” seem to have disappeared.

This article was originally going to discuss design issues for mobile wireless devices like personal digital assistants (PDAs) or Web-enabled cell phones. However, shifts in the industry made this article irrelevant for an STC audience. What became more relevant, however, was the question of what happened to the mobile wireless industry. As a result, this article is a practitioner’s commentary that focuses on what happened and what lessons technical communicators can learn and apply to other fast-changing technologies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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