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Technical content gone strategic

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Intro to content strategy for technical communicators

Published in: Technology
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Technical content gone strategic

  1. 1. Technical Content Gone Strategic © 2010 Intentional Design Inc. www.intentionaldesign.ca Rahel Anne Bailie @rahelab
  2. 2. Framework Content strategy: A repeatable system that governs management of content throughout the entire content lifecycle
  3. 3. Content Strategy: convergence of disciplines and technologies Content Strategy Business Analysis Technology Content Development User Experience
  4. 4. • Modeling/typing • Configure/components • Structure /standards • Repository • Aggregate/Transform • Publish/Syndicate • Syndicate • Evaluate • Iterate or sunset • Acquire • Author/Edit • Version/Localize • Metadata • Requirement analysis • User research • Governance planning • Budget Analyze Collect ManagePublish
  5. 5. • Modeling/typing • Configure/components • Structure /standards • Repository • Aggregate/Transform • Publish/Syndicate • Syndicate • Evaluate • Iterate or sunset • Acquire • Author/Edit • Version/Localize • Metadata • Requirement analysis • User research • Governance planning • Budget Analyze Collect ManagePublish
  6. 6. Potential ROI: •Extend market reach •Better decision-making for sales •Better customer support •Better info for Industry analysts •Potential IRR: Easier management of content •Reduce production time •Increase accuracy •Support risk management Pushing content to its full potential
  7. 7. You can deliver this Training material Technical manuals Support articles
  8. 8. h30413.www3.hp.com/SupportServices/country/us/en/support/T1100.html.htm Or this Training material Marketing Support Support Technical manuals Social network
  9. 9. How to / training Marketing Support How to Social content Support How to / training How to / training How to
  10. 10. Now, broken experiences can damage brands faster than ever. “Nothing can deter confidence quicker than a broken experience.”* * Christopher Cashdollar, Creative Director, Happy Cog Studios
  11. 11. Same content, two content strategies “This Visa interface is great. I can download each statement, by month, for the last year.” 1 2:00 PM “Vancity is great. I can enter the dates and download a whole year at a time, for the last two years – in a single transaction.” 2 2:15 PM “Visa’s monthly download is driving me bananas. Why doesn’t Visa get it together?” 3 2:18 PM Little credit union BIG credit card company
  12. 12. Reality Content drives the user experience.
  13. 13. Universal user goal Get content: 1. Find it. 2. Consume it. 3. Act on it.
  14. 14. Content strategy: extension of the experience design Specify context of use Specify requirements Produce design content solutions Evaluate design content Identify need for user-centered design content System satisfies specified requirements Adapted from: http://www.upassoc.org/usability_resources/about_usability/what_is_ucd.html
  15. 15. • Modeling/typing • Configure/components • Structure /standards • Repository • Aggregate/Transform • Publish/Syndicate • Syndicate • Evaluate • Iterate or sunset • Acquire • Author/Edit • Version/Localize • Metadata • Requirement analysis • User research • Governance planning • Budget Analyze Collect ManagePublish
  16. 16. We consume content like music: in context.
  17. 17. The move away from single-use, linear content is happening fast.
  18. 18. Portable content: reduce, re-use, recycle
  19. 19. Content capabilities Content must be able to: • Integrate – Embed data into content • Converge – Show content from multiple sources in single display • Syndicate – Send content out on demand
  20. 20. Content attributes So content must be: • Well-formed – 4 Cs, right tone, etc • Structured – XML, xHTML, accessible • Semantic – Have meaningful metadata • Standards-based – OASIS (DITA, DocBook, etc.), microformats
  21. 21. Case study Content strategy for single-sourcing of product content
  22. 22. Project goals • Better user experience – SaaS • Faster time to market – competitive advantage • Savings – production and translation • Efficiency – easier internal processes • Brand – contemporary look
  23. 23. Menu | Menu | Menu | Menu | Menu Window A Window B User Interface Here and here and here UX team builds UA product content directly into the interface …and seven other places in the interface. ?
  24. 24. <Task><Title>Title [w variable]</title> <ShortDesc>Short Description</shortdesc> <TaskBody><Steps> <Step><Cmd>Step</cmd> <Info>Step info</info> <Stepresult>Step results</stepresult></step> </steps> </Result>Task results</result> </taskbody> </task> Typical DITA task* ? User Interface Menu | Menu | Menu | Menu | Menu Window A Window B
  25. 25. <Task><Title>Title [Client Label]</title> <ShortDesc>Short Description</shortdesc> <LearnObj>Learning Objective</learnobj> <TaskBody><Steps> <Step><Cmd>Step</cmd> <Info>Step info</info> <Stepresult>Step results</stepresult></step> </steps> </Result>Task results</result> </taskbody> </task> Typical DITA task* Taxonomy File EN Window A Term A Term B Window B = Variable Term A Term C ? User Interface Title [w variable] Learning Objective 1. Step Step info Step results Task results Learning Centre Object Single-sourcing, with external variables, to multiple outputs. Title [w variable] Short Description 1. Step Step info Step results Task results Help Topic Content Object Title [w variable] 1. Step Step info Step results Task results [Added call centre comments] Knowledge Base Object Menu | Menu | Menu | Menu | Menu Window A Variable B SData
  26. 26. Implications Old method: desktop software delivery • “Spaghetti code” content needs rewrite to migrate New method: Web delivery with UI-embedded UA • New UI has more content types • Topic-based content • Max. content re-use, and reliable delivery/display
  27. 27. Content drives the user experience. Rather than designating content as something that is plugged into a decorated shell, why not endeavor to put it at the centre? - Dorian Taylor http://doriantaylor.com/the-web-doesnt-have-content-the-web-is-content
  28. 28. Portable content creates value Convergence: • Airline bookings • Hotel bookings • Car rental bookings • Google maps • Weather networks Integration: • Automatic integration • Get instant, custom itinerary Syndication: • Share with trusted contacts • Auto-notifications Bottom line: Good Value www.tripit.com
  29. 29. Move to experience design
  30. 30. Think beyond content; think experience http://www.allmusic.com Navigation Editorial Instructions Music files Ad Cover art Navigation Previews
  31. 31. Mash-ups are also a form of content convergence.We can create more comprehensible ways to present content. http://www.worldmapper.org
  32. 32. Mash-ups are also a form of content convergence.We can create more interesting ways to present content. http://pipes.yahoo.com
  33. 33. Consumers don’t care about your silos
  34. 34. We can customize content being delivered. Price range Bed/baths Geography View Alerts
  35. 35. Bonus: We can do more, better, faster.
  36. 36. When architected well, it happens seamlessly. Information portal Tech Comm content User-generated content Engineering content CRM content Support center content Marketing content RSS feedsSubscriptions Training content
  37. 37. • Modeling/typing • Configure/components • Structure /standards • Repository • Aggregate/Transform • Publish/Syndicate • Syndicate • Evaluate • Iterate or sunset • Acquire • Author/Edit • Version/Localize • Metadata • Requirement analysis • User research • Governance planning • Budget Analyze Collect ManagePublish
  38. 38. Can you fill a user value gap? Exploit the potential of your content – Is it structured? – Can it be re-used? – Can it be filtered? – Can it be searched (more importantly, found)? – Can it be personalized? – Can it be integrated? – Can your content converge? – Can it be syndicated? – Can it interoperate with other systems? The first impression of a site is made within 50 milliseconds
  39. 39. Think outside the site • What are the touch points? • What can be automated for users? • What are the preferences of your audiences? • Are you contributing to an engaging user experience? • How creative can you be? • What is the best you can hope to provide, logistically?
  40. 40. Shoot for the moon, to land amongst the stars.
  41. 41. Contact Info, Acknowledgements, Resources Presentation © 2010 Intentional Design Inc. www.intentionaldesign.ca Presenter: Rahel Anne Bailie, Content Strategist http://www.google.com/profiles/ rahel.bailie Twitter: @rahelab Delicious: rahelab Slideshare: rahelab Facebook: Rahel Anne Bailie Photography used under Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/

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