Session 1 Summaries – 25 January 2014

This is where Session 1 Notes for tomorrow’s event will be posted!

How to use video  effectively in TC

Scribe: Lori M

Questions – how to use videos to perform tasks

  • Keep videos short
  • Where most helpful – concept overviews; 50,000 views of a task. People tune out of lengthy task
  • Good writer, network architecture important. better than a written description or text with Pics
  • Video is complement to written doc, not a replacement
  • Used 70 sec videos to describe the steps in a process (best to keep it short)
  • Video in cloud-based help system
  • Scripting process? Story boards in PPT (desc of visual + accompanying steps). Much review alone or story board stage (more economical).
  • Writers recover screen captures
  • Takes a long time to prepare a 70 sec spot
  • Captivate & camtasia are popular tools
  • Users see screen captures as well as taking head. Seeing a person makes video more engaging. Talking head videoed separately from screen captures
  • Adobe Premier, After Effects also used
  • Creating videos of complex process – how to decide how to split up a complex process
  • Use Google Analytics to find out viewing patterns
  • Embedding videos into help – help is Eclipse-based, videos are hosted by a 3rd party server.
  • Item to measure engagement? It’s subjective
  • How do you decide who gets video presentation? At vmware, highest-priority topics were for capturing on video
  • Added navigational aids to help users find content on video
  • How does interest level in videos change over time? Steady growth in videos on YouTube channel
  • How does training assign model affect video design? Training videos are slower
  • How to decide which method for a procedure to select? Customers involved in beta tests. otherwise, talk with product managers and marketing. Be consistent in the approach you take.
  • How to get started doing videos? Depends on the extent to which you want to learn. Need to learn video capture software. Be sure to strive for quality of AUDIO.

Get good voiceover audio. Tripod important also!


Scribe: Liz Miller

Facilitator: Jo Ann Grey

The Final “Recommendation” (Approval due in 2022)

  • 5 – Separates the structure from the content; uses
  • Biggest – New structural tags added; presentation separated
  • 5 – Video, local storage other media-handling now handled
  • 5 – device responsive; different presentations
  • Code to query the browser for CSS to use
  • Reads existing (prior CSS) and allows viewable area for the content; resize browser resizes view port HTML5 rules for viewport in code. No more pixel-based better scaling; more useful for mobile, various sizes.
  • “Adaptive content” is great for trainers using a variety of mobile devices to present instruction
  • It’s becoming a normal output for a variety of popular tools
  • 5 tags not case sensitive; no strict doc type, more flexible, allows backwards compatible HTML version.
  • Runs on any browser; content-centric display
  • (headings, lists, etc. taken care of consistently)
  • Local custom CSS rules can be embedded in HTML5 as today; but external CSS better ePub3 is based on HTML5 – runs on any device except kindle.
  • Not a skill set for recruiters per Andy; also…
  • TREND: Adobe Flash will be slowly replaced by HTML5; already iOS does not
  • Youtube is non-flash – google supporting 5 support it
  • HTML5 focus on web-based videos with built in tagging; then you wouldn’t need the add-on for the browser external video display tools play outside the browser, Real Player, Quicktime. Not HTML5-based
  • Display in browsers “should” render faster due to less non code loading, add-ins. If content load high, may see some slowing. CSS file gets cached for all pages to use on access with no added download
  • HTML4 conversion/mapping? Possible but not easy
  • 4-Tables and framesets hide content from accessibility
  • 5-Table tag facilitate SEO; separates perspective structure out
  • This makes content more findable, better accessibility layout comparison to printed paper output – pixel perfect
  • With HTML5 “content is king” after all
  • Mostly Pam and Chuck sharing knowledge
  • Today’s HTML tools all going to HTML5 compatible

Reusing content  with tech pubs, training, marketing support and other organizations

Scribe: Tonie

How to organize other than DITA?

  • Tools, procedures
  • Share Point?
  • How Structured/Purpose meaning
  • XML is where everything is headed – portability
  • Based on Content newability
  • Language – marketing vs Techpubs
  • Not always structure
  • Who’s sharing
  • Training and Techpubs(inotructional + Techpubs)
  • Sales, product marketing, specs, training
  • Crossing silos by conversation, communication across teams
  • Functions of the organizational reporting structure
  • Goals compatibility issue – Engineering vs. Services
  • Partnership is independent of tool
  • Size of company doesn’t matter/it’s management and individuals within the enterprise.
  • Industry – e.g. mfg info parts data, etc. need to broad cast info.
  • Depends on who the content has to support.
  • Developers, tech does, training use same personae
  • Earlier in onboarding process
  • Core concepts cross borders
  • Start with glossary
  • More consistent branding even if give the various phrasings
  • Change process
  • What documents change
  • Engineer out redundancies
  • Why changing UI in real time
  • Marketing and help desk into product development
  • All same flow
  • Feature or bug, ELSE:
  • Fix process, not just document when something’s not working
  • How do you know which document to choose if several depts. Have docs?
  • Need a process to use the tools ELSE, a bunch of tools
  • Doc – H Drive – Share Point
  • Share Point – align with interface
  • Standards compliant (ISO)
  • Audit trial – Build bridges
  • Starts with Risk analysis
  • Business Risks
  • Business Rules
  • Obsoletes documents
  • Templates
  • From training perspective user/consumer of content Informal sharing – Personal relationship
  • Pain needed, e.g. lawsuit
  • Who has the biggest risk factor or driving the single view of customer
  • Benefit – consistent message.

Strategies for using Bookmaps and maps in DITA

Scribe: Robin Smith

  • Key refs and book designed well together.
  • Key ref – Topic map
  • Collect – Key map
  • Key definitions in the map reference to it in Front matter
  • Key def = definition > filtering attributes
  • Key ref = reference > filtering attributes
  • Chapter, front matter, appendix – top level.
  • Relationship tables
  • Maps are the glue that hold the data together.
  • Topics
  • Root map
  • Chapter map
  • Scripting/leverage keeps in conversions
  • Link topics to define a hierarchy – this is what maps are – naming topics – good information architecture – style guides
  • Don’t use comas in names – use underscore!
  • Con refs and key refs as ???
  • Docbook to Dita – transformer
  • Basic Dita map to reflect
  • Book map – elements Front matter, chapter, ?? matter
  • Regular map – ?? publisher
  • Organization of Topic Refs
  • Chapter maps –  (All are topic refs in the end)
  • The key is to only use the maps ?? they are built maps have the name of the content.

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Deep Dive into Adobe TechComm Suite5

  • Introductions
  • 4 people in attendance; Max is #4
  • Determine need of group
  • Jan. 28th webinar on the Tech Com
  • Misconception about product based on consumer usage 5 to 10 years ago
  • E-learning/training tech com suites
  • Fm          Rlt           CP
  • CP market leader screen capture other features
  • Fm 10 video/audio to help new user create fancy PDFs publish to epob kindle
  • Rlt import
  • Triggers and gadgets
  • Fm XML author 12

Writing/formatting best practices

Scribe: Julie Phaviseth

Tools: what should you learn? Desktop Publishing +?

  • DITA linking everything by its purpose, separating out your information into different types, self-contained, a way to structure your idea, not worried about organization and only worried about content without formatting. A tool where multiple writers don’t have to worry about details, can focus of writing far from universal.
  • Writing workflow:
  • Tech writing to non-native speakers: remember that you are speaking to a human and had to address the audience directly in active voice. Determine what you are trying to accomplish and what the reader needs to know.
  • What kinds of questions will a user have?
  • “Developing Quality Information” book
  • Volunteer with open source: Mozilla
  • As a user, some would appreciate knowing what they can’t do. Would help usability and findability of information: not necessarily a negative thing.
  • 5 w’s, keep answering what + why
  • Take a break and approach project with clean space, no clutter. Writing is best early or late in quiet.
  • The more you talk about a subject, the easier it is to write: exercise.
  • If you are feeling stuck, you don’t have enough info
  • Helps writing: peer review in the editing + review process
  • Vocabulary doesn’t help you in tech writing, so having a large vocabulary may hold you back. Simple, succinct writing… remove extra words.
  • Getting better about writing
  • Teen writing is creative writing, but, interestingly most don’t write in personal life

– Checklist: plan + write without rambling
– Self-edit: take time away from document, read aloud

  • Word counts look at small pieces of writing: sentences. Look to see if you repeat yourself. ?? every sentences adds to the conversation.
  • Word: readability score – help with translation
  • The most important piece of information should be at the end: sentences + paragraph.
  • Front loaded vs. back loaded information
  • Online articles: heading.
  • Findability is number one
  • Clear organization
  • Use of keywords
  • Blog “Every page is page one”
  • The title and introduction sets a person’s expectations.
  • Formatting: style guide, consistent
  • STC