Delivering integrated point-of-need help information in a software application.
The death of Clippit, Microsoft’s much-maligned “Office Assistant” in 2007, did not mean the death of user assistance. It just meant that technical authors needed to work harder with developers to find genuinely useful mechanisms for assisting their users.
Embedded user assistance is a mainstay of technical communications at Red Gate, saving our customers time, and making our products more usable. We’ll teach you everything we’ve learned about embedded UA, and show you how to design, test, and write for it. Plus, we’ll do it for real – in the workshop you’ll design your own embedded UA, and test it out.
When Karen Mardahl recently landed a new job as a technical writer in a manufacturing company, she saw content strategy written all over it. It was the perfect place to put ideas from content strategy into place. For this presentation, CJ interviews Karen about building content strategy in a company that had been writer-less for a few years and where keywords were quality, innovation, inspiring, chaotic, independence. An extra challenge was translating ideas aimed at the web to suit a company that made acoustical measuring microphones!
Both of us had to tackle the UK Driving Licence Application Form (D1) recently, and we found that it was particularly problematic, with extensive notes and instructions. But does it need to be like that? We will present a redesigned version of the form and notes, and how we got there. Along the way, we had some successes and some surprises. We’ll talk about our findings from usability testing and how we tackled the design and writing processes to make the form and the notes more user friendly. Our overall aim is to demonstrate how a revised design can save time and stress for the user and money for the organisation.
20th–22nd September 2011