Karen Field Carroll, ClearPoint Founder

Karen Field Carroll began her career in technical communication in the late 1990’s, when she took an internship with Qualcomm, Inc., in San Diego, California. After completing the internship, she worked for Intuit, Inc., where she both wrote and edited technical content for Intuit’s tax products. In 2003 she became a senior technical writer for First American Credco, one of the largest credit-reporting agencies in the nation. As the only technical writer for the Credit division, she developed end-user help content for products such as Credco.com, managing all projects from start to finish.

Before founding ClearPoint Technical Communication, Karen spent most of her time in corporate America writing product documentation for complex mortgage software, including credit-reporting applications and loan-origination-system software. She loved the challenge of getting to know a product intimately and then transforming that product knowledge into content that users found easy to navigate and easy to understand. It was during her years using and writing about software products that she developed ClearPoint’s advanced approach of organizing user content: the “Users Want Widgets” method.

While working as a corporate technical writer, Karen developed an interest in the use of plain language, a comprehensive writing style that makes sure that every document–from its overall structure to its sentences and word choice–is clear, concise, and complete. While earning her Masters degree, she studied the use of plain language in government communications, later adapting the method to the field of technical communication.

Education

In 2014, fueled by her desire to bring plain language to technical communication, Karen enrolled in Northern Arizona University’s Professional Writing (English) Master of Arts program, where she studied technical and professional writing in depth. Karen graduated in 2016 with a GPA of 4.0.

Books

Karen’s first book, Users Want Widgets, explains an exciting new method for organizing help content for product documentation. This book will be available for purchase sometime in 2017.
Beyond the Bulleted List: Using Plain Language in Technical Communication teaches technical writers to use plain language in even the most complex product documentation. Beyond the Bulleted List will be available for purchase in late 2017.