More pictures, less text: modifying technical content for the “visual age”

Our consumers’ attention span is diminishing on a yearly basis, increasing the challenge to engage and retain their focus. Although a few tools make it easy to insert rich media into multi-channel published content, how do you determine when to use images instead of traditional steps? Today’s projects require distribution equivalents of a press release, a movie trailer, and an interactive, visual experience. Text and words aren’t going away; we will just be using fewer of them. Attend this dynamic session to discover which skills you already possess to address the challenges described above, and how to “think visually”.

This session is delivered by Maxwell Hoffmann.

Simplified technical English: Overview of the ASD-STE100 specification

  • The making of the ASD-STE100 Specification
  • Basics: one word for one function, procedure or object, keywords, rules
  • ASD-STE100 makes the difference: accuracy, clarity, risk reduction, translatability
  • Practical examples
  • The global market
  • Updating the ASD-STE100 Specification
  • UKCeB STE Training

This session is delivered by Maria MacDonald.

Single-source/content management beyond text: Dealing with graphics and multimedia

For most authors the concepts of content reuse are nothing new. Whether you work under the labels of “single-source publishing”, “content management”, or “multi-channel publishing” it all boils down to writing content once, maximizing reuse, and (hopefully) never resorting to content duplication to achieve your publishing goals. All of this works beautifully with text, but various media elements have always been the Achilles heel of content reuse. In this session Mr. Hamilton will explore concepts and techniques to bring graphic and multimedia elements into the content management workflow.

This session is delivered by Mike Hamilton.

Using screen video: best practices, regardless of the tool

Screen videos have been growing in popularity as ways to provide detailed information and document processes. Many in the Technical Communication field are finding that they need to expand their skills beyond writing to communicate with their audiences. Many already use screenshots, but will benefit from creating screen videos.

We will focus on tips for making screen videos, including tips for recording, editing and producing – regardless of the tools used to make the video. Be prepared to walk away with ideas that you can apply, whether it’s your first or fiftieth video.

This session is delivered by Matt Pierce.

Time-saving tools and techniques for capturing screens

This session starts by presenting examples of how screenshots can really add value to software documentation and user assistance. You’ll then learn the key steps you need to take at capture time: these include guidelines on setting colour depth, sizing UI objects, and capturing drop-down menus. The session concludes with demonstrations of the most popular and powerful screen capture tools and strategies that are available.

You will learn:

  • Where, when, and how screenshots can really add value
  • The key steps for capturing a window, screen region, or object successfully
  • An overview of the tools available
  • The strengths and weaknesses of each tool
  • A range of powerful tips for saving time
  • Guidelines on single-sourcing screenshots for print- and screen-based presentation

This session is delivered by Matthew Ellison.

Changing the engine without stopping the car

Even if you know that structured authoring and reuse makes perfect sense, the sheer volume of your existing documentation may keep you from making the transition that your documentation team desperately needs. Most companies cannot afford to start a full rewrite of their materials, and they cannot afford to stop production for months while the legacy materials are being converted and imported into a content management system. This presentation shows how gradual migration of legacy materials into a structured authoring environment, and subsequent migration into a reuse system, is feasible when you use the right set of methods and tools.

This session is delivered by Jang Graat.

Content delivered? Check. OK how do we use it?

You spend months developing your content. You deliver it and wait for your users to say how good it is. The problem is, how many users REALLY know how to get the best from it. For example, do they know:

  • What content is there?
  • How best to find what they require?
  • How to navigate around the content?

In this presentation you will see how training users about your content increases customer satisfaction and reduces support costs. If you can’t do this directly, it will show how others can do it on your behalf.

This presentation is delivered by Colum McAndrew.