Freelance Technical Writer & Graphic Designer

2 Skills
Robert W. Harris

3229 Coachman’s Way, Durham, NC 27705 • 919-493-8470 •

Versatile, creative, and analytical communication professional. Draws on broad experience in technical writing, graphic design, and cognitive psychology to create printed and online documents that are clear, attractive, and persuasive.

Technical writing/editing, document and Web page design, instruction.

Windows, Mac OS, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Visio, Dreamweaver, HTML, FrameMaker, Photoshop, Illustrator, Snagit, Acrobat, Captivate, SharePoint, RoboHelp.

Aug 2010-Feb 2011, Senior Technical Writer, Wells Fargo, Minneapolis, MN (financial services company)
• Revised and expanded documentation related to the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (the SAFE Act): a Registration and Renewal Guide for mortgage loan originators, and a Resource Guide for managers.
• Edited the user guide for the Vendor Management System of Record, a program used to manage all aspects of vendor relations, including quality assurance, change control, and risk assessment. Also updated classroom training materials for students and facilitators.

Jan 2009-Mar 2010, Senior Technical Writer, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (multidisciplinary research organization)
• Wrote standard operating procedures, work instructions, training materials, Web pages, and information sheets.
• Edited and updated a wide variety of existing documentation to ensure clarity and accuracy.

Sep 2007-Apr 2008, Senior Technical Writer, DataFirst Corporation, Raleigh, NC (leading provider of medical image storage devices)
• Created documentation supporting the company’s line of archival medical image storage devices, including specifications, user manuals, marketing materials, Web content, and statements of work.
• Redesigned documentation to be more readable and visually appealing.

Jan 2006-Jul 2007, Senior Technical Writer, Teleflex Medical, Research Triangle Park, NC (manufacturer of surgical devices and supplies)
• Wrote and edited policies and procedures relating to labeling of surgical products.
• Created training materials for creating labels using the BarTender application.
• Updated existing documentation and training materials related to labeling and to the company’s conversion to SAP.

Jun 2005-Sep 2005, Instructional Designer, ChannelAdvisor, Morrisville, NC (software developer)
• Wrote the user manual for ChannelAdvisor Pro, a comprehensive suite of tools for managing all aspects of running online auctions on eBay.

Jan 2004-Feb 2005, Instructional Designer, Productivity Point International, Morrisville, NC (instructional design and training group)
• Created storyboards for e-learning and printed instructional materials (to be used for employee training by Atlanta Gas & Light).
• Created instructor-led training materials for a business management system used by Berlitz.
• Supervised a team of instructional designers.
• Performed quality assurance testing on e-learning modules.

Nov 2002-Sep 2003, Web Content Writer, IBM Corporation, Research Triangle Park, NC (international software and hardware provider)
• Wrote and edited marketing content for IBM Web sites to promote software solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.
• Performed user acceptance testing on Web pages to ensure functionality and ease of use.

Oct 2000-May 2002, Technical Writer and Instructional Designer, Duke University, Durham, NC
• Reviewed protocols for research in behavioral sciences to ensure compliance with federal regulations and institution policies.
• Edited existing instructional materials.
• Developed Web-based tutorials for use by student and faculty researchers.

Jan 1993-Sep 1999, Technical/Marketing Writer, Droege Computing Services, Durham, NC (developer of custom information management applications)
• Wrote software user manuals for more than 50 information management programs for use in medical, academic, and business settings.
• Created marketing materials, reference guides, and newsletters.
• Designed a professional look for all company materials.

May 1992-Aug 1992, Technical Writer, DataWatch Corporation, Durham, NC (software developer)
• Revised the user manual for Virex, a leading antivirus program for the Macintosh.

Dec 1991-Mar 1992, Technical Writer, Metagenix, Durham, NC (developer of data migration software)
• Edited the company’s documentation supporting its data migration products.

Mar 1991-Sep 1991, Instructional Designer, American Management Association, Watertown, MA (corporate training company)
• Created Getting Started With DOS, an interactive self-study course for PC users.

Aug 1990-Dec 1990, Technical Writer and Instructional Designer, Virtus Corporation, Cary, NC (software development group)
• Created the user manual for WalkThrough, the first real-time 3D design application for desktop computers (Mac User magazine’s “Breakthrough Product of the Year”).

Apr 1990-Jun 1990, Technical Editor, Ventana Press, Chapel Hill, NC (publishing house)
• Revised Roger C. Parker’s Desktop Publishing with WordPerfect for the second edition.

Mar 1989-Jul 1989, Instructor, Micro Center, Raleigh, NC (computer training group)
• Taught classes in DOS, Lotus 1-2-3, and other business applications.

Apr 1989-May 1989, Technical Writer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kentucky, Louisville, KY (health insurance provider)
• Edited a 1000-page proposal submitted to the Health Care Financing Administration.

Jan 1989-Feb 1989, Technical Writer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oregon, Portland, OR (health insurance provider)
• Worked with a team to produce a winning proposal to the Health Care Financing Administration.

May 1984-Oct 1988, Training Coordinator and Instructional Designer, Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC (Department of Energy research site)
• Managed six instructors to meet the needs of more than 4000 computer users on site.
• Taught hundreds of employees in hands-on classes how to use computers (PC, Macintosh, and mainframe) and popular software.
• Created practical user manuals, self-study courses, computer-based training, videotapes, and other instructional materials.
• Designed a professional look for all materials, including logo, type, and page layouts.

Jul 1982-Feb 1984), Information Analyst, City of Columbia, Columbia, SC
• Maintained files for payroll, billing, and collections for the city of Columbia.

Aug 1978-May 1982, Research Associate and Instructor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
• Taught the following undergraduate psychology courses: Introduction to Psychology, Principles of Learning, and Research Methods in Psychology.
• Managed the Research Methods Laboratory and supervised a dozen lab instructors.
• Executed research studies in human memory and perception.
• Created auditory and visual test materials, tested subjects, and ran statistical analyses.

Feb 1977-Jun 1978, Textile Designer, Wamsutta Corporation, Lyman, SC (textile products company)
• Worked with digital pen and palette to create textile designs on state-of-the-art Sci-Tex computer-aided design system.

Jul 1976-Jan 1977, Graphic Designer, Greenville Office Supply, Greenville, SC (printing services company)
• Designed and produced brochures, advertisements, illustrations, and company logos for local clients.

• MA degree in Cognitive Psychology (1980), University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.
• BA degree in Art (1976), Furman University, Greenville, SC.

Selected books
• The Elements of Visual Style, an illustrated guide to creating documents that catch the eye and get results (Houghton-Mifflin, 2007).
• When Good People Write Bad Sentences, a straightforward guide to clear and persuasive writing (St. Martin’s Press, 2004).
• DOS, WordPerfect & Lotus Office Companion, a best-selling guide (for six years) to the essential features of three popular PC programs (Ventana Press, 1990-1995).

Journal articles
• Perceived relatedness of musical tones in major and minor tonal contexts (1985). American Journal of Psychology, 98, 605–623.
• The stimulus suffix effect and positional uncertainty (1989). Canadian Journal of Psychology, 43, 74–87.

• Author of main selections in the Book of the Month Club and the Small Computer Book Club.
• Holder of four United States patents.
• Creator of dozens of crossword puzzles that have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, and other publications.
Skills (2) Rating
Technical Writing
Graphic Design