Write, design, and produce user documentation, online help, marketing and training videos, corporate Web sites, brochures, magazine articles, and instructional books. Also design and prototype Web-based applications. Skills include planning and organization, writing, information design, graphic design, multimedia production, usability testing, Web prototypes, user interface design, functional specs, and UI guidelines.

Helen Casabona, P.O. Box 347 La Honda, Calif. 94020, 650.747.9609 (phone), 206.202.4502 (fax), helen@casabona.com

Index of Companies

Cal Alive!
GPI Publications
Group Computing
NeXT Software
Pathworks Software
Women's Sports

Contracting / Temporary Employment

Google, Documentation, 2008, Mountain View, California

(Temporary employee hired by Workforce Logic.)

Designed and helped write a guide for corporate decision makers on how to transition an organization from legacy messaging and productivity applications to Google Apps Premier Edition. The guide describes how to pilot Google Apps within an organization, leads readers through key decision points, and refers to external implementation details. My topics included overviews of:

  • Migrating email from legacy messaging systems to Google Email.
  • Provisioning new Google Apps user accounts.
  • Using Google Apps on mobile devices.
  • The user experience when migrating to Google Apps.

Helpstream (was Pathworks Software), User Documentation, Marketing Videos, 2006-2009, Mountain View, California

Produced a variety of materials that document and market Helpstream—a Web-based service businesses can use to host their own collaborative customer support and social community network:

  • Organized, wrote, and produced all online help and other documentation, targeted separately at service administrators, support agents, and end users.
    View Helpstream documentation
  • Scripted, designed, and produced animated product tours that highlight key features of Helpstream.
    View Helpstream product tours
  • Designed and implemented a small support portal for customers of Pathworks Software (a precursor to the Helpstream service).
    View Pathworks Support Portal

AquaMinds, User Documentation, Marketing videos, 2003-present, Palo Alto

Produce a variety of materials that document and market the family of NoteShare applications—notebook organizer and collabaration tools that run on Mac OS X.

  • Design and write the NoteTaker User's Guide, which documents the notebook and organizer features of NoteTaker and NoteShare.
    View NoteTaker User's Guide
  • Script, design, and produce marketing videos that highlight key features of NoteShare (videos include voice-over and music tracks).
    Watch NoteShare videos
  • Design and write guides on using NoteShare Server to host shared notebooks from a central server, rather than sharing peer-to-peer (manuals authored in NoteShare itself).
    See excerpts from Noteshare Server guides

Postini, User Documentation, Online Training, Web UI & Usability, Marketing Writing, 2004-present, Redwood City, California

Produced a variety of materials for an enterprise spam and virus blocking service that also offers corporate email and IM archiving/discovery.

  • Wrote documentation and online help for users and service administrators.
  • Designed and prototyped user interface and work-flow for Web-based applications and wizards. Included writing functional specs and UI text.
  • Designed, scripted, and produced Flash movies for online training.
    View Postini online training
  • Created online tours showcasing features of new releases.
    View marketing "Sneak Peeks"
  • Helped design, and wrote marketing copy for the www.postini.com corporate Web site.
  • Designed, prototyped, and wrote text for a customer support portal (not yet deployed but I can show the prototype upon request).

Openwave, Web UI & Usability, 2001-2005, Redwood City

Designed Web applications used by phone carriers to manage Internet services for mobile phones. Also designed user portals for consumers. My focus was usability—application flow and organization, user interface, and UI text. I produced HTML prototypes, UI guidelines and templates, and functional specs. I also created and helped perform user tests.

Projects included:

  • A Web application for remotely administering OS, firmware, application, and device driver upgrades for various brands of mobile devices.
    View prototype of Enterprise Device Manager
  • A service deployed by phone carriers that lets teenagers purchase and download games, ring tones, and similar diversions to their cell phone. Includes a WAP interface for the phone, and a Web interface.
    View prototype of Download Manager (phone UI)
  • Administrative tools used to provision, authenticate, and bill subscribers, create and assign service plans, control access to Internet services, and more.
  • Web-based user portals where subscribers can log in to manage their own phone account.

Cal Alive!, Web Marketing — Writing, Design, & Development, 2005, Moraga, California

Led the redesign of CalAlive.org, a Web site hosted by the California Institute for Biodiversity (CIB). The goal was to orient the site towards marketing and selling their Cal Alive! educational CD-ROMs, for teaching Earth & Life sciences in California middle-schools. My contributions included:

  • Working with CIB staff to reorganize the site, with an emphasis on marketing Cal Alive! CD-ROMs.
  • Creating a working HTML prototype demonstrating navigation and design.
  • All writing.
  • Much of the Web development, under the direction of CIB staff.

Telocity — Web Marketing, Writing, & Design, 2000, Cupertino

Lead a complete overhaul of the consumer Web site for this DSL provider. Organized content, designed navigation, provided specs for graphic designers, performed user tests, and wrote all copy. The project involved a combination of information design, marketing and technical writing, and user interface design.
Excerpts from Telocity.com

NetObjects, Documentation, Articles, & Web Design, 1997 - 2000, Redwood City

Helped design and write NetObjects Online—a Web site integrated with NetObjects Fusion 5.0 providing articles and services for planning, building, and promoting a small-business Web site. Organized the site, provided information specs for graphic designers, wrote most content, and edited the rest.
Excerpts from NetObjects Online

Also helped document NetObjects Fusion, a leading Web building application of its day. Wrote chapters on creating dynamic actions (DHTML), dynamic database connections using ColdFusion and ASP, working directly with HTML, and more.

Phone.com, Documentation, 1999, Redwood City

Designed and wrote a nifty little consumer handbook and quick-reference card on using wireless phones to exchange email, and check news, stocks, weather, and more on the Internet.
Phone.com quick reference & handbook

Group Computing Magazine, Senior Editor, 1997 - 2000, Burlingame

Edited and rewrote articles on using popular groupware and Internet technologies for workplace collaboration, such as Notes, Microsoft Exchange, and videoconferencing.
Group Computing articles

AppMagic, Documentation, User Interface, Web Marketing & Design, since 1997, Oakland

Helped design and produce ExpenseIT, a personal finance application for sharing expenses. Developed the application feature set, helped design the user interface, created all online help (developed in Microsoft Visual C++), and designed/wrote the ExpenseIT Web site.
ExpenseIT help ExpenseIT Web site Download ExpenseIT


NeXT Software, Web Site Manager & Marketing Writer, 1995-97, Redwood City

Managed the design and writing of NeXT's corporate Web site. Spearheaded and managed a reorganization and redesign of the site, working with people across the company. Hired and helped manage a team of consultants. Designed and wrote a lot of content. Filled in on HTML and art production, as necessary.

Worked with senior management and product marketing to write high-profile collateral, including the WebObjects and OPENSTEP product brochures, and company positioning statements.
WebObjects brochure OPENSTEP brochure

NeXT Software, Project Leader & User Doc Writer, 1988-95

Designed, wrote, and maintained a suite of award-winning books and online help for using the NEXTSTEP desktop and applications. Worked with writers, editors, artists, engineers, localizers, and marketing. Developed the documentation strategy for the group. Prototyped page designs. Outlined, estimated hours for, and helped schedule all major projects. Designed online help software and user interface. Wrote and managed the department style guide.

Tymnet McDonnell Douglas, Technical Writer, 1987-88, San Jose

Documented data communications applications for large private networks.

GPI Publications, Editor, Books Department, 1985-87, Cupertino

Edited and managed the production of commercial books compiled from Guitar Player, Keyboard, and Frets magazines. Worked with outside publishers, contributing editors, graphic artists, and typesetters. Wrote two instructional books: Beginning Synthesizer and Using MIDI.

Inpsych, Inc., Technical Writer, 1984-85, Mountain View

Wrote software and hardware documentation for clients including Intel, Hughes Aircraft, Olivetti, and Raychem.

Women's Sports & Fitness, Assistant Editor, 1983-84, Palo Alto

Wrote and edited feature articles, and book and video reviews for this national sports magazine. Interviewed athletes and covered the Los Angeles Olympics.

On the Side

Freelance Journalist, 1983-85

Articles published in Frets, Artists Of American Folk Music, Women's Sports & Fitness, and Cosmopolitan. Proofreader and copy-editor for the GPI books department.


Perform at clubs, concerts, and festivals. Produced and recorded a solo CD, Sitting On The Curbstone, on my independent label, Casabona Records.

Speaker, Society of Technical Communication, 1995, Washington, D.C.

Gave a presentation at the STC national conference, and published a related paper, on the finer points of writing and designing user documentation.
Feedback from the audience Paper published at conference


Society of Technical Communication, 1992-95

NEXTSTEP User's Guide - Best of show, best system reference manual, and best manual design in West Coast region. Runner-up for best of show internationally

Here's How - Excellence, quick reference category

NEXTSTEP Power Tips - Excellence, quick reference and manual design categories

Writer's Handbook For Style and Design - Merit, style guide category

South Bay Blues Awards, Nominations, 1994

Best female vocalist, independent label. Best keyboard player, independent label. Best traditional artist. Best CD, independent label.


Stanford University

BA in English and Classics, 1983. Stanford Overseas Program in Florence, Italy, 1982. Nationally ranked swimmer and member of the 1980 NCAA national championship swim team.

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