TCUK 2017 Sponsor – Edissero

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Edissero logo

Edissero has been a specialist recruiter of technical communicators since 2003, helping many different companies and organisations, from blue chips to technology start-ups, find the best technical communicators for their technical and business information needs. We help companies in the UK and Europe recruit permanent and contract, full-time and part-time technical authors (from graduates and juniors to well-seasoned), documentation managers, content strategists, knowledgebase managers, eLearning and instructional designers, editors, bid writers, and user experience designers.

With 14 years in this specialist market, we love what we do and are proud of our long-term partnerships with our clients and candidates. They tell us we are thorough, efficient, no-nonsense and nice to deal with.

We look forward to seeing you at TCUK! Please visit our stand to:

  • Register with us and discuss how we may help you further your career.
  • Discuss how we can help you recruit a technical communicator.
  • Take advantage of our 1-to-1 CV MOT service (please bring along your CV).

For more information, please email us at info@edissero.com or visit our website at www.edissero.com.

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TCUK 2017 Sponsor – Ictect

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The logo for Ictect

Ictect offers a patented Microsoft Word-based software for authoring and converting content to DITA. Technical documentation departments will save time and significantly reduce cost by utilizing Intelligent Content Tools from Ictect. Please see http://www.ictect.com/DITA.

Image of the definition of i-c-tect
I*c*tect: From the phrase, Intelligent Content ArchiTECHures. A process for organizing and using your unstructured information to gain real business value, while saving time and money.

Ictect is doing a workshop on the “The Economics of Intelligent Content for Topic-based Writing” at the Microsoft Technology Center, Attend the Customer Immersion Experience Workshop at the Microsoft Technology Center, 2 Kingdom Street Paddington on Friday, September 29. Please see http://www.ictect.com/intelligent-content-workshop-london.

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TCUK 2017 Sponsor – Arm

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Logo for the company "Arm"

Arm is the world’s leading semiconductor IP company. We develop and license technology that is at the heart of more than 100 billion devices, from sensors to smartphones to servers.

Arm was founded by a dozen engineers working from a converted barn in Cambridge, UK, 27 years ago. By the end of 2016, that team had grown to more than 5,000 people at sites around the world. Arm gives its people the capabilities, processes, and infrastructure to enable them to develop and thrive as the business scales and strengthens. At the same time, we seek to nurture a work culture that remains true to our founders’ original vision: empowering our people to be innovative and drive Arm-based technology into all areas where compute happens, maximising their creative potential and enabling all of our people to be their brilliant selves.

As the foundation of a global ecosystem of technology innovators, we empower the world’s most successful business and consumer brands. Every day our thousands of partners embed more than 45 million Arm-based chips in products that connect people, enhance the human experience, and make anything possible.

  • Arm technologies reach 80% of the global population
  • More than 5,000 employees from 61 nationalities
  • More than 100 billion Arm-based chips shipped to date
  • An ecosystem of over 1,100 partners
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TCUK17 Speaker Charlotte Claussen – “Live mentoring/what is technical communication?”

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Charlotte Claussen will be giving a workshop at TCUK17 on “Live mentoring/what is technical communication?”

Photo of Charlotte Claussen

This session is for both newbies and experienced professionals.

For newbies: Bring a sample text, or a write-up an issue you would like to discuss or get feedback on. Hopefully you will not only get some valuable feedback, but also learn more about what experienced professionals think is best practice.

For experienced professionals: You might already be active in online discussions, but here is your chance to discuss an issue directly with the person raising a question, as well as have your ideas of best practice challenged by other professionals.

You will work in groups where one or two persons present a work sample or question for the group to discuss. Prizes are given to the group member who gives the best input in each group.

A second round will be for the groups to sum up opinions and statements on professionalism or best practice in our field that were revealed during discussions.

The idea behind this is that general discussions about professionalism or best practices tend to be vague, while focused discussions on a concrete issue will highlight the common ground as well as different opinions.

About Charlotte Claussen

Technical writer with experience from start-up-, agency-, and corporate environments, currently working as a project manager for Cisco.

Being a technical writer is the perfect fit for her. She is motivated by the continuous learning and by helping others. And as a bonus, she gets to pursue her interest in how people know what to do with stuff.

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TCUK17 Keynote speaker Michael Meng – “Effects of visual signalling in screenshots: an eye tracking study”

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Keynote speaker Michael Meng will also give a presentation at TCUK17 on “Effects of visual signalling in screenshots: an eye tracking study”.

Michael Meng

Another area I’m interested in is the proper usage and the design principles for screenshots in software documentation. I have recently completed an eye tracking study that examined the effect of different types of screenshots (screenshots with visual signaling to highlight relevant areas vs. simple screenshots without visual signaling) on task execution. The data seem to show that screenshots can actually support effective task execution, but only if they include signaling elements to guide visual attention. Thus, the second talk could outline the rationale behind the study, the method, selected results and the conclusion I believe can be drawn.

Michael Meng’s keynote talk is about “Optimizing API documentation: What we can learn from developers”.

About Michael Meng

Michael studied German linguistics and psycholinguistics at the University of Jena (Germany) and the University of Edinburgh. After completing his PhD on syntactic processing during reading in 1998, he worked as a technical writer and later on as department manager of documentation and localization for an international software company. In 2012, Michael was appointed Professor of Applied Linguistics at Merseburg University of Applied Science, where he now teaches courses on text analysis, text production, research methods and cognitive psychology in the B. Eng. and M. A. programs in Technical Communication. He is member of tekom Germany and presents regularly at conferences such as the European Academic Colloquium on Technical Communication, Write the Docs or the annual tcworld/tekom conference.

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TCUK17 Speaker Andrew Mills – “How to Create High-Quality Video Tutorials (the Easy Way)”

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Andrew Mills will be giving a workshop at TCUK17 on “How to Create High-Quality Video Tutorials (the Easy Way)”.

Photo of Andrew Mills

When creating a video tutorial, it’s important that it not only conveys its key message, but also looks and, most importantly, sounds the part.

That’s where this workshop comes in. I will show you a fast and efficient production workflow that not only emphasises quality, but provides reusable templates that speed up the development of future videos.

The workshop will cover multiple areas, from audio capture (and improving it in post-production), to the creation and use of Title Cards and Lower-Thirds, right down to best way to compress the final video.

Workshop Difficulty: Beginner to intermediate.

Software Requirements: The core concepts and advice given can be applied across many different video and audio editing packages. For this workshop, I’ll be using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, but you can use any editing software that’s currently available to you. However, if you wish to follow along using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, then Adobe currently offer a free, fully functional, 7-day trial.

Hardware Requirements: You and your laptop.

About Andrew Mills

In March 1999, my first video game guide was published in the pages of N64 Magazine. In 2003, I began creating numerous text and video tutorials for the Metroid video game series and this experience led to me becoming the ‘go-to’ video game guide author for most of Future Publishing – Europe’s largest magazine publisher.

I continued to create and self-publish video game guides for digital platforms, such as iOS applications and e-books, before moving into the role of Technical Author in the business software sector in 2015. Today I’m growing professionally as a Senior Information Developer for ARM in Cambridge.

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TCUK17 Speakers Angela Peter & Thomas Schubert – “Mechanical engineering and Industry 4.0 documentation”

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Angela Peter and Thomas Schubert will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Mechanical engineering and Industry 4.0 documentation”.

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Photo of Thomas Schubert

Industry 4.0 – a look at what is possible in the documentation for mechanical engineering today and what key points you may need to look at for developing your documentation 4.0 solution.
We will take a look at

  • What does Industry 4.0 mean for information relating to technical products and their information management?
  • What challenges and opportunities does Industry 4.0 bring up for documentation departments?
  • Which competencies in terms of tools and processes will be required for a successful documentation workflow in your company.
  • What – and whom – do we need to bring together to achieve the transformation from where you are standing today to a powerful solution for tomorrow.

At the end of this session we will take a glance at a state of the art implementation example.

About Angela Peter

Angela Peter is a Swiss technical writer who moved to Manchester in March 2017. Since 2013, she has been working as a technical writer for kothes GmbH and is currently fascinated by information models. In her first three years of employment two of her manuals have been awarded with the “Tekom Dokupreis” by the German Association of Technical Communication “Tekom”.

Angela received her bachelor’s degree in Technical Communication from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in 2013.

About Thomas Schubert

Tom began his career in Sales and project coordination for a foundry technology supplier operating in the EU. Here he came in contact with documentation for the first time, not knowing it would later play a major role in his business life. After several years in various customer-oriented Industry sectors he joined kothes GmbH in 2004. With 13 years of experience as Regional Key Account Manager in Sales of Documentation solutions he is also responsible for all international business development activities at Kothes.

With his understanding of how complex the situations in documentation departments can be, Tom enjoys discussing how exciting developing and implementing solutions for Industry 4.0 Documentation can be.

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TCUK17 Speaker Praveena Sabarish – “Audience Analysis: A smart way to understand our customers”

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Praveena Sabarish will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Audience Analysis: A smart way to understand our customers”.

Photo of Praveena Sabarish

It is essential to understand customer expectations and to tailor our documents by providing targeted content with concise and precise information for specific tasks. To understand customers, we must analyze the intended audience such as who they are and what they need. The best to way to understand and analyze our customers is by talking to customer-facing people.

Audience analysis is an effective tool to gather information about our target audience. This information can help us understand customer needs and usage patterns, and therefore deliver a better user experience.

This presentation will cover the process, outcome, and findings of the audience analysis and how it helped to deliver better documentation.

About Praveena Sabarish

I currently work as a Senior Information Developer at ARM Embedded Technologies, India. Over the past 10 years, I have worked with different companies like TCS, Philips, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, and Commit Technologies as a Technical Writer on various domains. I am passionate about building strong relationships with customer-facing people and stakeholders to enhance existing documentation. I have worked with different project teams and learned to continuously adapt to diverse processes and methods followed during the project development.

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TCUK17 Speaker Joanna Kusiak – “Topic-Based Authoring Tools: Adapting to Organisational Evolution”

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Joanna Kusiak will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Topic-Based Authoring Tools: Adapting to Organisational Evolution”.

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As with prehistoric human societies, adopting new tools can be a necessary organisational response to new developments, enabling further progression. This presentation explores the decision-making process and factors involved in choosing authoring tools appropriate to organisations’ needs, particularly in circumstances of changing requirements.

The focus is on identifying the factors that have the most bearing on tool planning, investment, and implementation decisions, within complex documentation environments. The talk examines some practical considerations when implementing new tools to facilitate the work of multiple, dispersed documentation teams. Issues such as stability, usability, remote accessibility, and additional features are addressed.

About Joanna Kusiak

Joanna Kusiak has worked in the technical communication industry for the past nine years. After starting as a student intern at a global corporation in Poland, she expanded her experience in Germany and Ireland. Joanna now works as a senior information developer with TWi, an Irish-based provider of outsourced technical writing, editing, and documentation solutions.

Joanna’s professional interests revolve around authoring tools, information architecture, and single-sourcing. Her role involves teaching SMEs, learning architects, and instructional designers how to use authoring tools and content management systems, and helping them to define documentation processes, design stylesheets, and manage DITA implementation.

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TCUK17 Speaker Stefan Gentz – The Convergence of Marketing and Technical Communication, an Adobe case study

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Stefan Gentz, from sponsor Adobe, will be presenting a case study at TCUK17 on “The Convergence of Marketing and Technical Communication”.

Photo of Stefan Gentz

Content consumption patterns have dramatically changed over the last decade. The maximum selective sustained attention span of a human being is about 20 minutes. Latest research shows that the transient attention span of human beings has even gone down from 12 to 8 seconds over the last decade.

To communicate technical content in the future successfully, we need to move from drops to drips, improve findability and searchability and tailor content to the content consumer’s role and context automatically. It’s time to talk about new customer experiences and new customer journeys.
In this session, Stefan Gentz, Worldwide TechComm Evangelist for Adobe, will discuss the communication of technical content and how it’s becoming increasingly important to understand technical communication as marketing communication. The ability to blend marketing content and technical content into a unified customer experience becomes key to success. The foundation for this is dynamic, intelligent content that enables personalization and multichannel content delivery to communicate with customers in all possible ways.

About Stefan Gentz

As the Worldwide Evangelist for Technical Communication at Adobe, Stefan’s mission is to inspire enterprises and technical writers around the world and show how to create compelling technical communication content with the Adobe TCS tools.

Stefan is also a certified Quality Management Professional (TÜV), ISO 9001 / EN 15038 auditor, ISO 31000 Risk Management expert and Six Sigma Champion.
Stefan is a popular keynote speaker and moderator at conferences such as tekom, tcworld, Information Energy, Intelligent Content Conference, Congility, LocWorld, TCUK, STC, GALA, ELIA, TTT, Translation Forum Russia and many others. He is also a member of the Conference Advisory Board of the world’s biggest TechComm event, the tekom / tcworld Conferences and member of the iiRDS working group for Intelligent Information. He is also an active social networker on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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TCUK17 Speaker Jang Graat – “Driving DITA off the map”

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Jang Graat will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Driving DITA off the map”.

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DITA was designed for topic-based authoring, but DITA maps are basically Tables of Content, which belong to the book paradigm. Even when adding conditional content and keys, the underlying organization is still a hierarchy, whereas the real world is radically decentralized and chaotic. If we want to get out of the old, sequential, content paradigm, we need to rethink the way we connect the dots, or the topics, to each other and to the various groups of users. This presentation outlines a couple of options to design dynamic content delivery.

About Jang Graat

Jang studied Physics, Psychology and Philosophy. He has 3 decades experience as technical author, trainer, consultant and developer. He has given countless presentations, tutorials and courses to a wide variety of audiences around the globe. His main skill is making complex technology understandable.

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TCUK17 Speaker Matthew Ellison – “Re-use Strategies for Topic-based Authoring”

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Matthew Ellison will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Re-use Strategies for Topic-based Authoring”.

Photo of Matthew Ellison

This presentation describes a range of ways in which you can sensibly maximise the re-use of content within a topic-based authoring environment. It considers the high-level information architectural issues, and recommends strategies that you can adopt whether you are using an XML-based content management system or a Help Authoring Tool. The session also considers the impact of information re-use on translation, and warns against some of the pitfalls of taking re-use too far.

About Matthew Ellison

Matthew has over 25 years of experience as a user assistance professional in the software industry. He now runs UA Europe, an independent UK-based training and consulting company that specialises in user assistance design and technology. Matthew holds a B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education from Bristol University. In 2009 he was the winner of the prestigious Horace Hockley award that is presented annually by the ISTC.

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TCUK17 Speaker Jörg Plöger – Give your content wings – How to improve your documentation skills, a SCHEMA case study

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Jörg Plöger, from sponsor SCHEMA, will be presenting a case study at TCUK17 on “Give your content wings – How to improve your documentation skills”.

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At the latest when your machine is ready before the accompanying documentation, or when your software is two versions ahead of the software help release, it is time to look into your editing solution. You have probably already noticed that the number of releases and formats is constantly growing, and that publication cycles are becoming shorter. With this case study, we would like to give you a few helpful tips and best practices to improve your way of working with information. In short, it is about the question: “What to consider when creating and managing information to make it future proof?”

About Jörg Plöger

Jörg Plöger studied mathematics. He has worked in technical communication in a wide variety of industries for more than 20 years. As consultant and trainer, he has travelled around Europe many times. Since 2000, Jörg Plöger has been working in the software industry (Translation Memory Systems (TMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS)). He is sales representative of SCHEMA and based in Bremen, Northern Germany.

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TCUK17 Speaker John Lee – “Our way is not the only way – a reuse and single sourcing model”

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John Lee will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Our way is not the only way – a reuse and single sourcing model”.

Photo of John Lee

ARM design suites of heterogeneous computing cores all baselined on a specific implementation of the ARM architecture model. This provides opportunities for enhanced quality control and process improvement. One such improvement is a multi-layered reuse model that enables content sharing across the suite, with reduced development time and an ability to accurately make fast updates. This presentation describes the mechanics of that reuse model. The model uses both profiling and key-defined content switching and worked extremely well for ARM.

About John Lee

John gained his electronics training in the British Army, rising from apprentice technician through to system engineer in a 23-year career. He used his technical writing experiences within the Army to start a second career as a Technical Author almost 20 years ago. He spent 9 years at Motorola, before branching out as a contractor. John has worked on a variety of projects, from microelectronics, educational software, military hardware and the financial sector. He currently works for ARM as a permanent colleague in a Staff Information Developer role.

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TCUK17 Speakers Chris Smith & Rob Woodgate – “Creating Integrated API Documentation Experiences for Users”

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Chris Smith and Rob Woodgate will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Creating Integrated API Documentation Experiences for Users”.

Photo of Chris Smith

Photo of Rob Woodgate

There’s rarely the equivalent of a content writer/UI/UX designer creating an API structure and names. This leads to a disconnect between formal specification of an API and the supplementary authored documentation, which usually exist as separate deliverables.

In our presentation we will:

  • Highlight some of the common pitfalls that API designers and technical writers fall into;
  • Describe some approaches and techniques that will help mitigate these pitfalls;
  • Demonstrate how content overlays can be used to narrow the disconnect between the API specification and the authored documentation, producing a single consumable.
  • About Chris Smith

    Chris is the chief architect at Companies House. He is mainly responsible for the strategy and architecture of their web and API services, in particular the https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk and REST API services, which satisfy tens of millions of free data requests a day.

    Chris is a writer who is passionate about effective documentation, especially for API design and specification, and this led him to create DapperDox, a documentation tool for seamlessly combining API specifications and authored documentation into a rich browsable experience. You can find him on Twitter @zxchris.

    About Rob Woodgate

    Rob is a Documentation and Knowledge Management consultant who helps companies get the most out of their documentation. He works as a writer, trainer, scrum master and agile coach and is currently helping Companies House roll out SharePoint.

    Rob blogs at www.agiledocumentation.co.uk on various techcomm subjects, and spends what little other spare time he has tweeting things about documentation from @agiledoc.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Holli Hamilton – “The Glossary is Dead, Long Live the Glossary!”

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    Holli Hamilton will be presenting at TCUK17 on “The Glossary is Dead, Long Live the Glossary!”.

    Photo of Holli Hamilton

    In the world of topic-based authoring, when you’re creating a topic pool rather than a page-by-page document, it can sometimes feel hard to identify the work left to be done. How can you identify the gaps in knowledge without a structure to hold the work against?

    In the formative stages of a documentation project, Holli proposes the glossary can be the core around which you measure your growing pool of topics.

    About Holli Hamilton

    Holli is currently the sole technical writer for Corero Network Security. She has been a technical writer for over 5 years and came into the field from a Fine Art background. While that may seem odd at first glance, she believes that they share the core values of communication, information absorption, and understanding your audience. She loves nothing more than the unity of these disciplines in a perfectly functional diagram.

    Outside of work, she has more hobbies than any sane woman should and enjoys frustrating her husband with the amount of craft supplies you can fit into a one-bed flat.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Andrew Mills – “It’s in the Game – The art of Creating a Helpful Video Game Guide”

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    Andrew Mills will be presenting at TCUK17 on “It’s in the Game – The art of Creating a Helpful Video Game Guide”.

    Photo of Andrew Mills

    “What’s that? You can be paid to play, and write about, video games full-time? Well, sign me right up!” Whoooa! Easy tiger. There’s a substantial amount more to writing a, helpful, guide to the latest and greatest video games than just having a blast and knocking up a few words.

    In fact, it’s a lot of very demanding work. As someone who has produced more than 140 game guides over a 14-year period, I thought I’d share how my workflow evolved from creating simple word documents, to incorporating high-definition videos and narrative audio in eBooks and mobile apps.

    About Andrew Mills

    In March 1999, my first video game guide was published in the pages of N64 Magazine. In 2003, I began creating numerous text and video tutorials for the Metroid video game series and this experience led to me becoming the ‘go-to’ video game guide author for most of Future Publishing – Europe’s largest magazine publisher.

    I continued to create and self-publish video game guides for digital platforms, such as iOS applications and e-books, before moving into the role of Technical Author in the business software sector in 2015. Today I’m growing professionally as a Senior Information Developer for ARM in Cambridge.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Phil Lane – “Creating content and output for mobile and embedded devices”

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    Phil Lane will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Creating content and output for mobile and embedded devices”.

    Photo of Phil Lane
    Whilst mobile devices can deliver a fantastically rich user experience, they often share some attributes with embedded devices, such as limited screen size, storage capacity or methods of interaction. We will examine the tools and techniques that allow you to adapt your content to work on both types of device, working around these limitations.

    However, even embedded devices can support some dynamic capabilities, so we will explore these features, explaining how they can help your content become more interactive and appealing, and more useable as a result.

    About Phil Lane

    Phil Lane is a Content Strategy Specialist at Imprimatur Limited. He combines his experience in XML with his understanding of documentation processes to develop strategies and implementation plans that deliver improved documentation efficiency.

    Phil particularly relishes projects in the automotive industry, where finding solutions is often challenging because of the need for simultaneously-available multi-lingual content, the pressures of a strict 12-month product cycle, and the tightly-constrained in-vehicle operating environment.

    Phil holds a degree in Engineering and has a strong computer systems background reaching back over 13 years.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Jen Lambourne – “What I wish I’d known before doing user research for the first time”

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    Jen Lambourne will be presenting at TCUK17 on “What I wish I’d known before doing user research for the first time”.

    Photo of Jen Lambourne

    We all want our content to meet the needs of our users, but the practicalities of user research and testing can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a research background.

    In this talk, I’ll share some practical advice to get you started. From deciding what and how to research, finding users, handling consent, interview techniques, experience mapping, analysis and more, the talk will focus on the mistakes I’ve made and plenty of advice to get you going. We’ll also cover how to feed those all important findings back into product and content development.

    About Jen Lambourne

    Jen is a technical writer fighting an endless battle against acronyms and jargon. After escaping the worlds of technology PR and marketing, she now works at Government Digital Service (GDS), part of the Cabinet Office. In her latest role, Jen produces technical guidance for people across the UK government, as well as technical documentation for GDS products and services – all with a heavy dose of user research and testing.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Yuri Kolber – Best Practices of Documentation Migration Projects, an OTC Case Study

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    Yuri Kolber, from sponsor OnTarget Communications, will be presenting a case study at TCUK17 on “Best Practices of Documentation Migration Projects”.

    Photo of Eran (Yuri) Kolber
    Logo for OnTarget Communications

    The case study examines the learnings, both positive and negative, from two migration projects (both for customers with global audiences). In both cases the customers were looking to move documentation to a collaborative platform, that would enable value delivery through version control, effective re-use of content, and efficient distribution of documentation. Due to the different requirements and audiences, the solutions selected for the customers were substantially different technically (from a toolset perspective), but both delivered the desired results. The session will provide guidelines for ensuring that migrating documentation to new platforms and toolsets, is as painless as possible.

    About Eran (Yuri) Kolber

    Eran (Yuri) Kolber is the Director of Training and Professional Services for OnTarget Communications. As part of his duties, he assists customers world-wide with Training Needs Analysis, Training Delivery, Content Creation and Management, Migration Project Planning and Execution, Knowledge Transfers, and extracting the maximum business value from technology, in the age of the Cloud and Mobility.

    Yuri served as a Platform Evangelist for Microsoft for many years, and has assisted global consulting organizations, such as Holden International, to plan and roll-out content management and training programs for their customers.

    He also leads OnTarget’s Internship program, which helps entrants into the industry obtain the required experience.

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – OnTarget Communications

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    OnTarget Communications

    Logo for OnTarget Communications

    OnTarget Communications was formed in 2001 to provide a refreshingly different approach to documentation, placements, and training. We provide a wide range of content services to meet the needs of organizations in the hi-tech, telecom, bio-tech, military, security, banking, insurance, medical, education and other professional fields. Using a specialized team of professionals, with extensive experience covering a wide variety of fields, we provide a 24×7 service level for those highly-demanding and tight deadline jobs, world-wide (UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, USA). In the modern world of collaborative authoring and content management, we find that geographical location has become nearly irrelevant.

    OnTarget is focused on helping customers obtain the maximum business value from content and documentation, and from the people involved in the process (be they customer employees, contractors, or consultants). We ensure value by providing the appropriate service in the most cost-effective manner.

    Amongst the services we offer are: Technical and Marketing Authoring, Translation and Localization, Document Project Outsourcing, Placement Solutions (permanent, contract, and project), Instructional Design, Training Delivery, Content Development and Management Solutions, UI/UX Reviews, Technical Author Trainings and Apprenticeships.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Marie-Laure Blanc – “How to stay on topic when on stage in a world where a 4-minute YouTube video is the standard in attention span”

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    Marie-Laure Blanc will be giving a workshop at TCUK17 on “How to stay on topic when on stage in a world where a 4-minute YouTube video is the standard in attention span”.

    Photo of Marie-Laure Blanc

    As a technical communicator, you know how to recognise great speakers. But – let’s face it – back in your office, how often do you end up going back to presentation habits detrimental to you and your audience?

    Our General learning outcome for this highly interactive session is: embodying your technical communicator’s soul every time you present.

    Specific outcomes are:

    • Choosing the right scenario from the very beginning to the very end.
    • Designing your own ready to use 4-dimension action plan for your next presentation.
    • Bringing rhythm to what you say.
    • Crafting crispy sentences.

    Participants are expected to come with a presentation in mind. Two participants – willing to – will have the possibility to deliver a ten-minute presentation to start our session. If you are interested, get in touch before 15th September at marie.blanc@wanadoo.fr.

    About Marie-Laure Blanc

    Some people say they want to get out of the box: I did it for real.
    After ten years witnessing the daily challenges of the corporate world from my interpreting booth, I got out of it to develop an inclusive approach to leading.

    For ten years, I taught translation and communication – with great pleasure – at the University of Marne la Vallée.

    During the 20th century, I was lucky to study and work in Spain, the UK (Thames Valley Univ., Westminster Univ.) and France. http://marie-laure-blanc.com/

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    TCUK17 Speaker Karen Mardahl – “Surviving the agile enterprise: case study from the trenches”

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    Karen Mardahl will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Surviving the agile enterprise: case study from the trenches”.

    Photo of Karen Mardahl

    What are the challenges for ten technical communicators in a large company moving from a waterfall development environment to an agile development environment with about 500 developers and testers?

    This is a case study about writers learning together to work the agile way in a world that is in flux.

    My colleagues and I use our own technical writing community of practice to guide ourselves via our successes and failures, and to teach our developer/tester colleagues about what we do. We are now reaping the benefit of our move to topic-based authoring several years ago. We still have challenges fitting a backlog of non-TBA legacy material into the fast-paced world of SAFe – Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprises.

    I will share our plans, our goals, our challenges, and our frustrations using real-life anecdotes from the trenches.

    About Karen Mardahl

    I am a senior technical writer at SimCorp in Denmark where I do my part to document an investment management system for the financial industry. I have long been keen on issues of accessibility and usability for technical communicators. That interest is still very strong and will never disappear. Lately, my daily focus has been on how a technical communicator can get things done in an agile world. I feel privileged to work together with great colleagues on finding answers to all our agile questions. TCUK17 will be my eighth TCUK conference. You can find me on Twitter @kmdk.

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    TCUK17 Keynote Speaker Mike Hamilton – “Five Cascading Style Sheet Techniques That Every Technical Writer Should Know”

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    Keynote speaker Mike Hamilton will also give a presentation at TCUK17 on “Five Cascading Style Sheet Techniques That Every Technical Writer Should Know”.

    Photo of Mike Hamilton

    We all know how to style in word processors but too many writers seem reluctant to learn CSS techniques. In this session, Mike Hamilton shares five easily mastered CSS techniques to help build confidence in writers at any skill level. Since the CSS language is the basis for styling modern markup languages, the more you learn about CSS the more it will benefit your career. Learn the basic techniques for the beginner, and some intermediate techniques for those more advanced. In addition, Mike will then finish with a prototype CSS technique allowing for vocabulary control over your content in a Responsive Design situation.

    Mike Hamilton’s keynote talk is about “Topic-based Authoring – Is it for me?”.

    About Mike Hamilton

    Mike Hamilton is the Vice President of Product Evangelism at MadCap Software. Prior to joining MadCap Software, he served as the Product Manager for Macromedia’s award-winning RoboHelp product line, where he gathered input and feedback from the customer community and guided ongoing development of the various RoboHelp products.

    Mr. Hamilton has over twenty years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development at several organizations including MadCap Software, Macromedia, eHelp, Blue Sky Software, Cymer, a leading supplier of laser illumination sources to the semiconductor industry, National Steel & Shipbuilding and the US Navy.

    Mr. Hamilton is often a featured speaker at industry events, including the STC (the Society for Technical Communication) Annual Conference, the annual TEKOM/TC World Conference in Germany, the annual SOAP Conference in Poland, the European Online Documentation Conferences, and many more events. Mr. Hamilton has also appeared at the Microsoft Campus and STC regional conferences and events.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Graeme West – “Resistance is futile! How automation can improve your docs – and your life”

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    Graeme West will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Resistance is futile! How automation can improve your docs – and your life”.

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    Continuous Integration (CI) tools are used by software engineers to test and deploy code on a daily basis – but their benefits for technical writers are less well understood. In this presentation, we will explain the benefits of CI tools in your docs workflow.

    We’ll consider how automation can achieve two key goals: improving quality and encouraging innovation.

    CI tools can make regular checks of content, such as grammar, broken links, and file validity. More importantly, adopting an automation mentality lets you become a ‘writing engineer’ who takes ownership of implementing continuous improvements to your workflow.

    About Graeme West

    Graeme West is a technical writer from Glasgow, Scotland, who focuses on software documentation and localisation. He has interests in automation, process improvement, and working closely with development teams.

    He works for Verint, a global leader in business and public sector intelligence systems. He previously designed and implemented the documentation system for NCR’s Mobile Centre of Excellence. He has also worked as a community manager, developer, and sysadmin.

    In his spare time, he writes about himself in the third person, and wonders why you are still reading his boring biography.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Mark Dennett – “How to win friends as a technical author, and influence the development of software”

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    Mark Dennett will be presenting at TCUK17 on “How to win friends as a technical author, and influence the development of software”.

    Photo of Mark Dennett

    Drawing on my recent experience as a technical author working in multi-national software environments, I will identify the challenges in producing quality documentation, and discuss some helpful strategies. I will argue that the technical author possesses a range of skills that could make them essential to the software development process, particularly with regard to terminology, and the development of the user interface. By providing guidance and feedback into the development process, I will describe an approach that will allow us to become an essential cog in the development machine, rather than a spare part.

    About Mark Dennett

    Born in East Yorkshire, I studied English and Philosophy at Staffordshire University before moving to Bristol to work in video production. I then worked in IT and telecoms support, spending ten years at Buro Happold Engineering in Bath. I eventually worked in the IT Infrastructures team, supporting several international offices. In my final years at Bath, I completed a part-time MA in Technical Communication at Portsmouth University. This enabled me to develop a career as a technical author. After briefly working for Sky, I secured my first technical author role at CAE Mining, before moving to Zuken at Bristol, where I currently work as a senior technical author.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Andrew McFarland Campbell – “Automatic Documentation for Software”

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    Andrew McFarland Campbell will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Automatic Documentation for Software”.

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    Many modern software products are complex, having anything from dozens to thousands of configuration parameters. This is particularly true for distributed systems or cloud-based products. Agile environments can result in many subtly different product versions released in quick succession. Traditional documentation methods have trouble keeping up.

    It is important to automate as much of the documentation process as possible, including generating documentation directly from source code, moving the technical writer from being a writer to being an editor and developer.

    The session covers case studies and scenarios, including code samples, and will conclude with practical considerations, such as management buy-in.

    About Andrew McFarland Campbell

    I am a technical writer with more than a decade’s experience of automating documentation production for complex software products, particularly in the financial and telecommunications industries. As well as working with standard documentation tools like DocBook and DITA I am experienced with XSLT and various programming languages.

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    TCUK17 Keynote Speaker Frances Gordon – “Why topic-based writing and plain language need each other”

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    Frances Gordon will be giving her keynote talk on “Why topic-based writing and plain language need each other”.

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    According to the Center for Plain Language (US), plain language occurs when a person can find the information they need, understand the information they find, and use this information to meet their needs. Plain language practitioners often emphasise that this discipline involves multiple levels of a communication piece (context, content, structure, design, format, flow, readability, tone, and so on).

    To be clear is to be consistent and brief, so the idea of topic-based writing is one that is gaining traction among plain-language practitioners. But it also works the other way: plain language can provide a very useful entry point into the mechanics of topic-based writing – how to stitch together groups of words, phrases and paragraphs in a way that makes sense in varied contexts, for varied users, even translated into varied languages.

    Over the past 50 years or so, plain language has built up a solid foundation of research into how human beings read and process information. On the level of terminology, corpus studies can help technical writers to both identify complex words and to find simpler alternatives. It’s important to differentiate jargon from complex words and have a method for how to make decisions about both types of words.

    Plain language as a discipline also has a lot to say about metaphor – all language has (or even is) metaphor – but we need to be conscious of how we use metaphor, avoiding extended metaphors, or those that can easily become ‘mixed’ when they appear alongside a different topic.

    Another point is that pronouns need to have clear reference points within each content module – else they can very easily become lost, without any reference at all.

    On a sentential level, we look at classic readability principles, such as the importance of understanding sentence complexity rather than just length, and how to create sensible rules about active and passive language, and nominalisations.

    On a higher level still, we look at cohesion – a key issue for topic-based writing, where paragraphs must make sense as a stitched-together whole, and not as isolated units. Often the use of headlines is very valuable in promoting cohesion in this way.

    In conclusion, plain language provides a set of ingredients that if combined with the right taxonomies and technologies, are a recipe for successful topic-based writing.

    Frances Gordon will also be giving a presentation on “Dealing with jargon and technical terms”.

    About Frances Gordon

    Frances’ career started in rural South Africa where she wrote and designed educational materials for low literacy adults.

    During her 20-year career, she has held tenures at Datatec/Logical as communications strategist, at London-based Siegel & Gale as Head of Content (EMEA), and at Barclaycard as VP of Content Strategy (UK).

    Together with lawyer, Candice Burt, Frances co-founded Simplified, a plain-language and content training and consultancy firm. Its services include communication and content strategy, writing coaching, content audits, Treating Customers Fairly consultancy, and plain-language rewrites. Over 5 000 professionals, from lawyers to technical communicators, have benefited from the Simplified training programme.

    Frances has worked on content for blue-chip international companies such as Alexander Forbes, MTN, Liberty Group, NS&I, Old Mutual and Vitality. She also has an active interest in financial inclusion programmes in frontier and emerging markets.

    Frances sat on the board of international plain language organisation, PLAIN (Plain Language Association InterNational). She was part of the advisory committee of IC Clear, an EU-funded initiative that developed a post-graduate course in clear communication. She is an active member of Clarity in the UK, which is an organisation devoted to writing legal information clearly.

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    TCUK17 Keynote Speaker Frances Gordon – “Dealing with jargon and technical terms”

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    Keynote speaker Frances Gordon will also give a presentation at TCUK17 on “Dealing with jargon and technical terms”.

    Photo of Frances Gordon

    A lack of clarity about jargon often gets in the way of clear, topic-based writing. This presentation gives a method for how to deal with jargon. Jargon are terms with a specific technical meaning – often problems arise not from the jargon itself, but from users ascribing different meanings to the same jargon term, or using different jargon terms for the same meaning. It’s important to research jargon with users so that you can find out not only whether users understand the jargon, but how well, and how consistently across the organisation.

    There are two main methods to test jargon – scenario-based user testing, which draws on the field of UX, and comprehension testing. Each has its purpose, and both methods should be used in jargon explorations.

    After identifying jargon problems through research, writers need to make and document decisions on whether to replace jargon or define it. If defining, it’s important to keep the definition as short as possible, and to avoid the temptation of including explanations, examples, or substantive content in the definition. Although often used only by lawyers, a drafting table can be a very useful tool for technical writers too.

    Frances Gordon’s keynote talk is about “Why topic-based writing and plain language need each other”.

    About Frances Gordon

    Frances’ career started in rural South Africa where she wrote and designed educational materials for low literacy adults.

    During her 20-year career, she has held tenures at Datatec/Logical as communications strategist, at London-based Siegel & Gale as Head of Content (EMEA), and at Barclaycard as VP of Content Strategy (UK).

    Together with lawyer, Candice Burt, Frances co-founded Simplified, a plain-language and content training and consultancy firm. Its services include communication and content strategy, writing coaching, content audits, Treating Customers Fairly consultancy, and plain-language rewrites. Over 5 000 professionals, from lawyers to technical communicators, have benefited from the Simplified training programme.

    Frances has worked on content for blue-chip international companies such as Alexander Forbes, MTN, Liberty Group, NS&I, Old Mutual and Vitality. She also has an active interest in financial inclusion programmes in frontier and emerging markets.

    Frances sat on the board of international plain language organisation, PLAIN (Plain Language Association InterNational). She was part of the advisory committee of IC Clear, an EU-funded initiative that developed a post-graduate course in clear communication. She is an active member of Clarity in the UK, which is an organisation devoted to writing legal information clearly.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Rahel Anne Bailie – “Topic-based writing in the molecular world”

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    Rahel Anne Bailie will be giving a workshop at TCUK17 on “Topic-based writing in the molecular world”.

    Photo of Rahel Anne Bailie

    The demands on content are growing.

    There’s Germany’s Industry 4.0 initiative, which assumes that the interoperable exchange of data within manufacturing technologies. They don’t call it content, but content developers know all about content denial. An Information 4.0 consortium has already sprung up to prepare us for what’s to come when the content to be delivered is expected in smaller and smaller chunks.

    On another front, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are shaping the content mix. In some ways, topics become more irrelevant; in other ways, well-formed and semantically rich topics are more important than ever.

    In this workshop, we will look at these two emerging practices, and examine ways to deal with the sometimes competing, sometimes complementary demands on our topic-based content. Using some basic examples, participants will explore a range of solutions and outcomes through hands-on exercises.

    About Rahel Anne Bailie

    Rahel Anne Bailie brings a strong understanding of the complexities of managing the editorial and technical aspects of content, throughout the entire content lifecycle, to ensure that content is the driver for existing and emerging channels within the context of a rich customer experience. Chief Knowledge Officer at Scroll, Fellow of the Society of Technical Communication, and organiser of the Content Seriously meetup. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy. She is working on her next book on writing for a structured content environment.

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – TWi

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    Logo for TWi

    TWi is a leading technical writing and information design service provider, based in Ireland. We partner with clients who require scalable and fully managed documentation solutions to meet their changing needs. We work mainly with multinational clients in the Software, Fintech, Utilities, Engineering, and Pharma/MedTech industries. Thanks to technology and Ireland’s time zone, we’ve worked with teams around the globe.

    Clients avail of our technical communication expertise and knowledge of documentation best practices, tools, and strategies to create deliverables fit to accompany their innovative creations. Typical deliverables include SOPs, technical guides, user manuals, online help, training resources, and white papers.

    Partner with us to turn your documentation into an asset by:

    • Enhancing knowledge transfer
    • Promoting usability, customer safety, and user satisfaction
    • Generating increased sales
    • Growing internal capacity to meet future documentation needs
    • Supporting legal, quality, and regulatory compliance
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    TCUK17 Keynote Speaker Michael Meng – “Optimizing API documentation: What we can learn from developers”

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    Michael Meng will give his keynote presentation on “Optimizing API documentation: What we can learn from developers”.

    Michael Meng

    The talk will outline the main findings from some empirical studies we have done to better understand the information needs of API developers, their expectations regarding content and structure and some criteria they apply to assess documentation quality. I will then propose a set of heuristics and principles that we have derived from these findings, and that we hope can provide evidence-based guidelines for technical writers working on API documentation. Examples showing how the heuristics can be implemented will be drawn from a prototype that we are currently working on.

    This work has been co-authored with Stephanie Steinhardt.

    Michael Meng will also be giving a presentation on “Effects of visual signalling in screenshots: an eye tracking study”.

    About Michael Meng

    Michael studied German linguistics and psycholinguistics at the University of Jena (Germany) and the University of Edinburgh. After completing his PhD on syntactic processing during reading in 1998, he worked as a technical writer and later on as department manager of documentation and localization for an international software company. In 2012, Michael was appointed Professor of Applied Linguistics at Merseburg University of Applied Science, where he now teaches courses on text analysis, text production, research methods and cognitive psychology in the B. Eng. and M. A. programs in Technical Communication. He is member of tekom Germany and presents regularly at conferences such as the European Academic Colloquium on Technical Communication, Write the Docs or the annual tcworld/tekom conference.

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – Adobe

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    Adobe logo with link to the Adobe website for one Adobe solution for technical content

    Adobe has revolutionized how the world engages with ideas and information. Our award-winning software and technologies have set the gold standard in communication and collaboration for more than 30 years. Adobe’s Technical Communication group delivers best-in-class tools, systems and services that help businesses streamline content workflows end-to-end. With our cutting-edge solutions, teams can effortlessly collaborate on the creation of ground-breaking content, manage and reuse assets efficiently, and seamlessly publish it across multiple channels and devices. Published content can be tailored to audiences, increasing relevance and consumption. All this, and more, while offering the highest return on investment.

    With the convergence of marketing and technical content across enterprises – Adobe’s new-age solutions will empower your organization to create valuable experiences that build your brands, drive demand, and extend the reach and ROI of customer-facing content, pre-sale and post-sale.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Eran (Yuri) Kolber – “To Video, Or Not To Be – That Is The Question”

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    Eran (Yuri) Kolber will be presenting at TCUK17 on “To Video, Or Not To Be – That Is The Question”.

    Photo of Eran (Yuri) Kolber

    Technical Authors are being requested by clients (both internal and external) for video segments to be incorporated into online documentation. This session will help you get started if the medium of Video is new to you, or if you are looking for hints and tips to improve your video production capabilities.

    Topics covered:

    • Video capture, editing and production fundamentals for Technical Authors
    • Planning & Preparation (audience issues, scripting/storyboarding, preparing your equipment)
    • Recording best practices
    • To narrate, or not? That is another question… (alternatively, Modality, Temporal, and other principles)
    • Editing cheats
    • What NOT to do (well… maybe, sometimes)

    About Eran (Yuri) Kolber

    Eran (Yuri) Kolber is the Director of Training and Professional Services for OnTarget Communications. As part of his duties, he assists customers world-wide with Training Needs Analysis, Training Delivery, Content Creation and Management, Migration Project Planning and Execution, Knowledge Transfers, and extracting the maximum business value from technology, in the age of the Cloud and Mobility.

    Yuri served as a Platform Evangelist for Microsoft for many years, and has assisted global consulting organizations, such as Holden International, to plan and roll-out content management and training programs for their customers.

    He also leads OnTarget’s Internship program, which helps entrants into the industry obtain the required experience.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Wayne Brissette – “Work Smarter, Not Harder: Reorganizing your team for the new world”

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    Wayne Brissette will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Work Smarter, Not Harder: Reorganizing your team for the new world”.

    Photo of Wayne Brissette

    Is it possible to actually ‘work smarter’ and ‘think different’ about today’s tech comm’s concerns? Deadlines are tighter, budgets more constrained, and people resources are more constrained. Learn how one writing team at ARM reorganized itself to put the cliché into action. Learn how we reorganized a global team, measured reuse to help understand how they can tell you about your topic-based project.

    Learn how thinking differently about multiple projects allowed us to increase document quality and meet critical deadlines all without increasing headcount.

    About Wayne Brissette

    Formal electronics training courtesy of the US Marine Corps, with a degree in Technical Communication, Wayne has over 20 years in the Technical Communications field. He has worked for companies large and small. Currently working as Product Information Architect at ARM, based in Austin, Texas. He has previously worked as a technical author at Apple, ATI (now AMD), and LSI (now Intel). One of the co-leaders of the Central Texas DITA User Group, with over eight years of DITA authoring experience.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Maja Engel – “Plunging into the waters of UX”

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    Maja Engel will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Plunging into the waters of UX”.

    Photo of Maja Engel

    I will talk about what User Experience (UX) is about, its principles and best practices and how to apply them in your work, regardless of whether you are a technical communicator, UI designer or content strategist. I will show that incorporating UX considerations early on in the design process can help you stay focused on goals instead of features and be able to prioritize. Finally, I will give you some tips and advice drawn from my own experience and cooperation with other UX professionals that might help you venture in this broad field and expand your skills.

    About Maja Engel

    I have a degree in Conference Interpreting and Translation and started translating technical documentation straight out of university. I worked for the EU and the Croatian government prior to my current employment as technical writer in ESTECO, an engineering software company in Trieste, Italy. I am responsible for the technical documentation of two desktop software platforms and for about a year and a half I have also been in charge of UX architecture and UI design. My goal is to get things done and I want my users to be able to do the same.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Ellis Pratt – “Documentation as self-service support”

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    Ellis Pratt will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Documentation as self-service support”.

    Photo of Ellis Pratt

    In this presentation, we’ll look at the different approaches to self-service support, and the role of the technical communicator within that environment.

    We’ll explore:

    If an organisation wants to encourage self-service support, where does end-user documentation fit in?
    Is it realistic to expect users to write any of the content?
    Does Software as a Service change the type of support an organisation needs to provide?

    About Ellis Pratt

    Ellis Pratt is a Director and Help Strategist at Cherryleaf, a technical writing services and training company based near London, in the United Kingdom. He has over 20 years of experience working in the field of documentation, has a BA in Business Studies, and is an Associate of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Ellis is also on the management council for the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC).

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    TCUK17 Speaker Alison Peck – “There must be a better way!”

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    Alison Peck will be presenting at TCUK17 on “There must be a better way!”.

    Photo of Alison Peck

    When the authoring tools and processes are making keeping up with product changes nigh on impossible, something has to change.

    • Client A uses Word to produce PDF manuals … but their applications are web-based, and they now sometimes update three or four products simultaneously.
    • Client B uses FrameMaker and RoboHelp to produce PDF manuals and online help, and there is a lot of duplication.

    I’ll take you through the steps I followed when learning to use and evaluating MadCap Flare and moving to topic-based authoring, the opportunities and difficulties I faced, all the way to the decisions my clients made.

    About Alison Peck

    I’ve been a technical author for over 20 years, and have managed Clearly Stated since November 2004. I love my job – from starting to investigate a new application, through crafting the materials, to delivery of the finished products.

    Most of my clients are software developers – about the only thing they have in common. They range from multi-national organisations to small companies with fewer than 50 employees, and they operate in sectors as diverse as healthcare, logistics and secure messaging. I produce everything from training materials to reference documents, in anything from online interactive formats to more traditional PDFs.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Neil Perlin – “Topic-Based and Structured Authoring – Keeping It Simple”

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    Neil Perlin will be giving a workshop at TCUK17 on “Topic-Based and Structured Authoring – Keeping It Simple”.

    Photo of Neil Perlin

    Topic-based authoring creates content in small chunks rather than long documents. Structured authoring applies a formal structure to those topics. They’re different processes but most effective when used together. Consistent structure makes content easy for authors to write and readers to absorb. “Bead-sized” content allows single sourcing to multiple formats and devices.

    But these methodologies can be time-wasting, expensive, and over-complicated if they don’t fit your company. This workshop looks at various factors to see how to implement these methodologies as quickly, inexpensively, and simply as possible.

    • Definitions of topic-based and structured authoring.
    • Business factors – support for company strategy, handling legacy material, more.
    • Technical factors –trends that affect content development, maintenance, and distribution.
    • Implementation factors – information type definition, template creation, cascading style sheets, DITA vs. non-DITA, more.
    • Hands-on practice defining an information type and structure.

    You won’t leave with all the answers. There’s too much to cover and companies differ. But you will leave with the concepts needed to implement topic-based and structured authoring.

    Neil Perlin is also giving a presentation at TCUK17: “We’re Going Mobile! Great! Wait. What Does That Mean?”.

    About Neil Perlin

    Neil has 38 years experience in technical communication, 31 in development, training, and consulting for online formats and tools ranging from cutting edge to dead. He is certified for Flare, Mimic, RoboHelp, and ViziApps Studio and consults on them, along with single sourcing, structured authoring, and apps.

    Neil was a columnist for STC and IEEE and is a popular conference speaker, recently at TCUK15. He ran STC’s Bleeding Edge, and represented STC to the W3C for four years. He has written eight books on computing, including Advanced Features in MadCap Flare 10 and Creating Mobile Apps without Coding.

    In his spare time, Neil builds telescopes, flies aircraft carrier simulators, and barbecues meat. Contact him at nperlin@nperlin.cnc.net or on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (@NeilEric).

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    TCUK17 Speakers Derek Cooper & Sammi Lauesen – “The fun side of technical communication”

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    Derek Cooper & Sammi Lauesen will be giving a workshop on “The fun side of technical communication”.

    Photo of Derek Cooper

    Derek and Sammi, the presenters of this workshop, have a passion and excitement for technical communication and bring diverse and complementary skills and experiences to it. They want to share some of that excitement with you in this light-hearted workshop in which you’ll have a chance to ‘play’ with some mystery objects, and to write about them as if they were new products from a start-up company.

    If you have one, please bring a laptop computer with MS Word installed, which you’ll use to develop a template and to write user information. You’ll also be critiquing each others’ work, and some samples we supply, offering assessments and making changes for a positive user experience (UX).

    About Derek Cooper and Sammi Lauesen

    Derek Cooper is a Fellow of the ISTC and has worked in technical communications since 1992. Although his background is in marine electronic engineering, he has produced user documentation in a range of different forms for subjects as diverse as electron and optical microscopy, marine and seismic survey, environmental monitoring, government and financial services, and veterinary science. He has worked with many UK employers, and has run his own successful business as a freelance and contract technical author. He now works for ARM in Cambridge, where he applies his obsession with quality to improve the user experience for ARM’s customers.

    Sammi Lauesen is an Information Developer at ARM. Her background is in software, and she has a strong interest in User Experience (UX).

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    TCUK17 Speaker Neil Perlin – “We’re Going Mobile! Great! Wait. What Does That Mean?”

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    Neil Perlin will be presenting at TCUK17 on “We’re Going Mobile! Great! Wait. What Does That Mean?”

    Photo of Neil Perlin

    So you’re taking your documentation mobile. Great!

    But just saying “mobile” is too vague. Is it an app? Responsive online help? Something else? And how might going mobile affect how you create content? Come to this presentation to find out.

    We’ll look at three definitions of “mobile” – responsive design, “mobilized” online help, and apps –pros and cons and tools. We’ll then discuss changes to your documentation practices, such as greater syntactical rigor, eliminating local formatting, modifying or eliminating tables, and more.

    You’ll leave this presentation with a solid understanding of your technical and workflow options for going mobile.

    Neil Perlin is also doing a workshop at TCUK17: “Topic-Based and Structured Authoring – Keeping It Simple”

    About Neil Perlin

    Neil has 38 years experience in technical communication, 31 in development, training, and consulting for online formats and tools ranging from cutting edge to dead. He is certified for Flare, Mimic, RoboHelp, and ViziApps Studio and consults on them, along with single sourcing, structured authoring, and apps.

    Neil was a columnist for STC and IEEE and is a popular conference speaker, recently at TCUK15. He ran STC’s Bleeding Edge, and represented STC to the W3C for four years. He has written eight books on computing, including Advanced Features in MadCap Flare 10 and Creating Mobile Apps without Coding.

    In his spare time, Neil builds telescopes, flies aircraft carrier simulators, and barbecues meat. Contact him at nperlin@nperlin.cnc.net or on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (@NeilEric).

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    TCUK17 Speaker Danielle M. Villegas – “The Future of Mobile Learning”

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    Danielle M. Villegas will be presenting at TCUK17 on “The Future of Mobile Learning”.

    Photo of Danielle M. Villegas

    This presentation will tie together how early efforts to create and promote literacy are tied to e-learning and how technology helped the evolution of that process, explain the basic concepts behind m-learning practices and instructional design, and provide evidence of efforts now being done to revise how m-learning is conducted on smart devices through current thought in the m-learning industry. While the main concepts here are geared towards instructional designers or help authors, anyone writing help documentation, or those wanting to write for mobile can learn the principles that can form the mindset needed to write mobile content.

    About Danielle M. Villegas

    Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who has recently started her own consultancy, Dair Communications. She is best known in the technical communications world for her blog, TechCommGeekMom.com, which has flourished since its debut in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference, as well as written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, the InSyncTraining blog, and The Content Wrangler. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @techcommgeekmom, through her blog, or daircomm.com.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Alison Turner – “Topics for teenagers”

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    Alison Turner will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Topics for teenagers”.

    Photo of AlisonTurner

    This session will offer tips on constructing topics, based on the thesis that you will get this right if you imagine you are writing for a teenager.

    Like my teenage sons, the users of my help and manuals are not fans of the beautifully constructed training course or the well-structured novel. Many never learned to use an index. They want ‘concise and speedy’ help, ideally without too much to read.

    I will present examples of my work to illustrate the ways in which I have altered my style to deliver information to suit my users – taking a topic-based approach.

    About Alison Turner

    Alison Turner CEng CPhys MInstP MISTC trained at St John’s College Cambridge and Universität Heidelberg in Physics, then took a postgraduate certificate in Engineering Management.

    Alison worked in technical consultancy before becoming a Project Manager for Racal Avionics. She led project management process initiatives and delivered business analysis of the project portfolio at Thales Aerospace UK.

    For the last seven years Alison Turner has been the sole Technical Author and IMS Manager at Vocality, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer based in Surrey, which recently became part of Cubic Mission Solutions. She is responsible for both product and process documents.

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    TCUK17 Speaker Robert Kratky – “Going Modular: Turning Legacy Docs into User-Story-Based Content”

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    Robert Kratky will be presenting at TCUK17 on “Going Modular: Turning Legacy Docs into User-Story-Based Content”.

    Photo of Robert Kratky

    How to adapt the big guides of yesterday into modularized narratives that are easy to maintain, scale well, and still allow for a ‘guide-like’ experience when it is required? This presentation will describe the work documentation writers at Red Hat are doing to solve this problem: re-purposing the existing body of documentation into modular units that can be combined into user-story-based content. The talk will also outline how to leverage the modular structure of content to present it to users in a dynamic manner — using a metadata-based, hierarchical navigation.

    About Robert Kratky

    Robert Kratky is a Principal Technical Writer at Red Hat and a long-time contributor to open-source projects. He has published dozens of technical and outreach articles in both print and online media, and presented about documentation topics at open-source events. At Red Hat, Robert specializes on developer docs and improvement of user experience with documentation.

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – 3di

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    3di Information Solutions Ltd.

    Logo for 3di

    “Complexity made clear”

    3di has delivered technical communication and localization services to global companies, government organisations, and technology and software businesses since 2002. Our in-house team is based near Guildford and in Kraków. Quite a few of us are attending TCUK as delegates.

    Our customers and suppliers love working with us and keep coming back. The people we work with day-to-day like our friendly and reliable approach and our focus on quality — we don’t let them down. The people who pay the bills like our competitive rates and our focus on efficient processes — we save them money.

    Visit our stand at TCUK to:

    • discuss your work and the challenges you face
    • brief us about projects you have coming up
    • tell us about your availability to work with us and our customers

    For more information visit our website www.3di-info.com.

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – SCHEMA

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    SCHEMA logo

    The SCHEMA Group develops and markets high-performance solutions for information logistics. Founded in 1995, the company employs over 110 people at its headquarters and development site in Nuremberg, Germany. Relied upon by over 500 customers, the SCHEMA ST4 Component Content Management System (CCMS) and the SCHEMA CDS Content Delivery Server number among the most widely used systems for a modular approach to technical writing and documentation. The SCHEMA ST4 Component Content Management System and the SCHEMA CDS Content Delivery Server cater to all functions relating to the creation, versioning, variant control, translation, quality assurance, publication and distribution of product information – from service information on a mobile device to the final layout for a print catalogue. SCHEMA ST4 is a flexible system that can be scaled to suit the needs of small authoring teams up to entire companies. It is also available as a standard version or as a client-specific solution. SCHEMA CDS distributes information while providing its immediate availability. The SCHEMA Group’s solutions are suitable for a broad range of applications. They are deployed in a wide variety of sectors including mechanical and plant engineering, automotive, IT, electronics, medical technology and the pharmaceutical industry. Clients such as ABB, Agilent, Andritz, Bayer, Bentley, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bombardier, Bosch, Bundesanzeiger Federal Gazette, Carl Zeiss, Caterpillar, Daimler, Datev, Doppelmayr, General Electric, KSB, MAN, Miele, Austrian Federal Railways, Philips, Porsche, Roche, Schaeffler Group, SEW Eurodrive, Siemens, SMA, Toyota, TüV, Voith, Weleda, Wincor Nixdorf and many more rely on systems from SCHEMA.

    SCHEMA. Complex documents made easy. www.schema.de

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – kothes GmbH

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    Logo for kothes GmbH

    kothes GmbH is a leading specialist service provider for technical documentation and CE marking.

    kothes GmbH was founded in 2003 and now employs a good 100 people, about 70 of them technical editors. Offices in Kempen, Bremen, Berlin and Stuttgart as well as in Kloten near Zürich (kothes Schweiz GmbH) guarantee fast reaction times for our customers in the entire German-speaking area. Our customers include more than 1,000 manufacturers, operators and importers of technical products, from family companies to global corporations.

    We stand for cooperation models where consultation and services are combined in such a way that your employees and our employees collaborate at the optimum level.

    www.kothes.de

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – Imprimatur

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    Imprimatur is a leader in implementing technology to improve the document creation and management process, offering guidance, training and consultancy to enable our customers to become more efficient.

    As part of its strategy to work with the best documentation technologies, Imprimatur is SCHEMA’s sole UK partner, offering sales, support and consultancy to enable customers to implement the SCHEMA ST4 CCMS.

    Imprimatur is a specialist language and technology company, providing services to both technical and marketing teams of large companies operating in global markets.

    Imprimatur offers languages services – from machine translation right through to copy writing – to enable its customers to be clearly understood in their target markets. By using the latest and most powerful translation management systems, Imprimatur produces high quality translations whilst delivering to the tightest of deadlines.

    www.imprimatur.co.uk

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    TCUK 2017 Sponsor – MadCap Software

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    MadCap software logo

    MadCap Software is a trusted resource for thousands of companies around the globe for single-source, multi-channel authoring and publishing solutions, including multimedia and translation management. Our products are used to create corporate intranets, online Help systems, policy & procedure manuals, video tutorials, knowledge bases, ebooks, user guides and more. Our services include product training, consulting services, translation and localization and an advanced developer certification program.

    www.madcapsoftware.com

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    TCUK 2017 Keynote Speaker – Michael Meng

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    We are pleased to announce Michael Meng as a keynote speaker for TCUK 2017.

    Michael Meng

    Michael Meng is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Information Sciences at the Merseburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany).

    Michael studied German linguistics and psycholinguistics at the University of Jena (Germany) and the University of Edinburgh. After completing his PhD on syntactic processing during reading in 1998, he worked as a technical writer and later on as department manager of documentation and localization for an international software company. In 2012, Michael was appointed Professor of Applied Linguistics at Merseburg University of Applied Science, where he now teaches courses on text analysis, text production, research methods and cognitive psychology in the B. Eng. and M. A. programs in Technical Communication. He is member of tekom Germany and presents regularly at conferences such as the European Academic Colloquium on Technical Communication, Write the Docs, or the annual tcworld/tekom conference.

    Michael Meng’s keynote presentation is about Optimization strategies for API documentation.

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