by Joe Welinske
This preconference workshop, presented by Joe Welinske, requires an additional fee. This workshop is also available as part of the Content Design Certificate Bundle.
Structured authoring has become one of the most popular ways of developing content. The main focus is on separating the data (words, images, links, etc.) from presentation (typeface, margins, color, etc.). This type of authoring is increasingly used in all manner of organizations. Structured authoring as a framework is the basis of today’s content management systems.
The open-source standard, DITA, is a form of structured authoring designed specifically for documentation. DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is often referenced as a skill area in job postings for technical writers. Many authoring tools support the use of DITA.
Who should take this course?
This course is designed for students seeking an introduction to structured authoring and DITA. It is primarily of interest to technical communicators and other professionals tasked with creating and managing extensive libraries of content.
This preconference workshop, presented by Stuart Bender, requires an additional fee. This workshop is also available as part of the Responsive Design and Development Certificate Bundle.
This workshop introduces you to the fields of Usability and User Experience and demonstrates how to maintain a creative edge when applying them to technical communication. You'll get historic perspective, theory, and hands-on practice, assess your skills, develop new skills based on user-centered design, and learn how to tap hidden talents for solutions or innovations which might get overlooked. You’ll design products, perform reviews, test usability, organize evaluations, and learn how personas help keep focus on user-centered design.
Although specific to software deliverables, such as online help and tutorials, you'll learn methods to apply in any situation that demands fast and creative solutions.
After completing this workshop, you will be able to:
by Joe Gollner
This workshop will start with a quick overview of the changes that are impacting the world of technical communication. From there, the workshop will review some of the key concepts that have been getting more and more attention as organizations look for responses to these changes. These key concepts are Content Strategy, Content Engineering and Content Management. The history of each idea will be briefly covered and practical working definitions provided. And these ideas will be situated within the context of both a Content Lifecycle model and a Content Solution implementation framework. This conceptual roadmap will be used to identify and define the many tools and techniques are typically associated with each concept and how they all come together in order to genuinely help organizations to communicate more efficiently and more effectively.
Specific topics to be covered include the definition of a compelling content strategy, the modeling and validation of content and content processes, the implementation the technical infrastructure needed to support the full content lifecycle, and the deployment and leveraging of an engagement cycle whereby the input of users and stakeholders is fed back into the content lifecycle.
In summary, this workshop will equip attendees with an essential roadmap for understanding the landscape of new tools and techniques that are available to organizations implementing state-of-the-art content management and publishing environments.
This preconference workshop, presented by Scott DeLoach, requires an additional fee. This workshop is also available as part of the Responsive Design and Development Certificate Bundle.
After this workshop, attendees will be able to:
Attendees will receive a CSS quick reference card, sample files (before and after versions) of each hands-on exercise, and a list of CSS best practices.
More details will be announced soon.
The STC Leadership Program provides information about the direction of STC and it helps STC community leaders share ideas. For details about the program content, see the slides and additional handouts linked as coverage for this session. All STC community leaders are invited to attend. There is a small surcharge for this event.
* Please have breakfast before the program (breakfast is not provided)
* Please register for this event in advance
* 8:00 AM: Coffee, tea service, and networking
* 8:15 AM: Welcome to Leadership Day 2014 (Nicky Bleiel)
* 8:30 AM: Recognitions: Community Achievement Awards, Individual Awards
* 8:50 AM: Society Overview and Strategy (Chris Lyons)
* 9:30 AM: Community Affairs Committee Report
* 9:45 AM: Break
* 10:00-10:45 AM: Birds of a Feather sessions (various topic discussions)
* 10:45-11:30 AM: Birds of a Feather sessions (various topic discussions)
* 11:30-11:45 AM: A Look to the Future (Kit Brown-Hoekstra)
* 11:45 AM-Noon: Thanks for a Year Well Done
Lunch and afternoon activities on your own
This preconference workshop, presented by Andrea Ames, requires an additional fee. This full-day workshop is also available as part of the Content Design Certificate Bundle.
Are you working with many products, large content sets, many audiences, or broad business requirements? Are you finding it difficult to create a content experience to your customers that is consistent and enables logical, meaningful content access? And do you strive to deliver high value and delight? In addition, do you need to develop robust content experiences that stand the test of time, even if the visual presentation and templates must change with marketplace trends? Models enable you to design and implement a valuable experience for your customers, consistently, across products, authors, audiences, and time – even in a very large enterprise. In this workshop, we’ll work through the modeling process, and you will leave with the hands-on experience of developing a use model, a content model, and an access model.
In this workshop, we will discuss why modeling is important and describe the process, including prerequisite input to ensure high-quality, valid models. Then we will walk through a concrete exercise to develop use, content, and access models for a fictional company, taking the business situation, audience, and likely product-use into account. Finally we’ll discuss approaches for applying the models, and you will try your hand at implementing a release-specific architecture based on the models.
by Karl Stolley
This preconference workshop, presented by Karl Stolley, requires an additional fee. This workshop is also available as part of the Responsive Design and Development Certificate Bundle.
This workshop introduces HTML5 and its foundations for building web applications. The workshop emphasizes a mobile-first approach, covering some basics of CSS and responsive web design, as well as the new semantics in HTML5 used for structuring information and accepting user input.
Participants will learn to assemble the basic HTML5 and CSS components for their own application that retrieves and displays some form of open data, such as current weather, movie times, or government information. The workshop will also provide hands-on experience with agile development methods and version control.
Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part workshop in developing web applications. Participants may elect to attend one or both; the second part is 'Developing Web Apps: Front-end Interaction.' Participants should bring their own computer, but no prior experience with markup or web design is required or expected.
by Karl Stolley
This preconference workshop, presented by Karl Stolley, requires an additional fee. This workshop is also available as part of the Responsive Design and Development Certificate Bundle.
At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have created their own small web application that runs entirely in the browser and pulls data from an open API.
Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part workshop on developing web applications. Participants may elect to attend one or both; the first part is 'Developing Web Apps: Foundations in HTML5.' Participants should bring their own computer and have a basic knowledge of HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets.
This preconference workshop, presented by Rhyne Armstrong, requires an additional fee.
Wordpress has been around for a while now, but we are just realizing how powerful this open-source CMS can be. In this workshop, you will learn why you would want to use Wordpress, learn how to install and configure the application, and learn about plugins that can turn the out-of-the-box blogging platform into a viable CMS.
This is a hands-on workshop, where you will be able to get real experience using and configuring the various parts of Wordpress. We will go beyond learning about and using the admin dashboard, and learn how the system uses various php pages and a MySQL database to store and display content to your visitors. By the end of the workshop, you will have the confidence to install your own site and have it displaying your content on your own domain.
As content strategists, UX professionals, and technical communicators, much of our work is focused on solving problems for real people with defined needs and contexts who live and work in the here and now. We take a holistic approach, break down silos within our organizations, and iteratively create real value for the people who use our products and services.
But how does our work change—and how must we adapt our approaches and strategies—when we’re planning for projects that last for not one year, or even 10 years, but for 10,000 years or more?
Using real-world examples from NASA’s Voyager program, the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste repository, and other long-term projects, Jonathon will talk about the challenges of creating information that degrades elegantly over space and time—information that’s still useful, usable, accessible, and meaningful for people whom we’ll never know in our lifetimes.
The answers to these problems give us a new perspective on our work, on the natures of clarity and simplicity, and on what it means to build a brand that endures with messages that last.
Start your conference experience with a smile by connecting with friends and colleagues, networking, and getting an overview of what's new at the EXPO. This event is included in your registration fee.
BPM (business process management) and KM (knowledge management) have more in common than you think. In this session, we provide an overview of BPM and KM and describe the synergies between both concepts and how they are applied to people, process, and technology. Attend this session to understand these converging worlds and strategically use both for project success.
We often say that content strategy starts with the business need, but we should say that your content strategy really starts with your audience. Without an audience, you don't have a business goal. Learn how to understand your audience's demand for content — and how to meet that need. If that's starting to sound a little like user experience design (UX), you're not far off. Learn about the content-focused tools you can use to better understand what your audience needs from you. You'll learn how to:
by Kevin Lim
Large, complex documentation projects, like software projects, should have strategies that can be executed with limited resources. A technical writer is a project manager who prioritizes deliverables, allocates resources (even if that resource is just the writer ), and engages the cooperation of other team members for a common goal—delivering high quality documentation on time. A technical writer should, therefore, have the tools she needs to successfully shepherd projects to completion.
The session introduces the writer to basic project management principles that are applicable to documentation projects. It discusses approaches writers or project managers could use to align their projects with strategic objectives of the larger organization.
Often, writers want to keep their heads down and just deliver good docs and not worry about the larger picture or "politics." That might work with simpler projects, but once the writer works with a team on a complex documentation project, she must start dealing with "politics," which naturally happens whenever resources (time and people) are scarce. So it's best to have the right tools for the job; "just winging it" just won't do in some situations.
Speaker: Kevin Lim
by Nicky Bleiel
Responsive design "frees our content" to work anywhere, anytime. Adopting responsive design means that technical communicators no longer need to spend time designing and creating deliverables for different devices. Instead, we can focus on developing and delivering quality content – where and when our customers need it.
Technically, responsive design is "Responsive WEB design", so we must deliver our help to the web to take advantage of all that RWD has to offer. But this is nothing new for technical communicators, since many of us have been delivering web based help systems for many years, and mobile help for a shorter time. Providing a single responsive output gives us the opportunity to create once and deliver to thousands of devices: new ones, older ones – and ones that don’t even exist yet.
In this talk, you’ll learn:
Accessibility is not a switch that can be flipped at the end of a process. It is an approach that must be integrated throughout in-house design and development. Accessibility must be verified when considering the purchase of third party applications as well. Task integration is the key to building an accessibility program that works and that does not drive your team to distraction. This session will help you plan for accessibility integration, from explicit policy development to roles and responsibilities within development and procurement cycles.
The original speaker, Sharron Rush, had to cancel. Joseph O'Connor will be presenting this information.
Through participation in this workshop, attendees will:
Examples used in this workshop are NOT taken from grammar texts. They were written and published by real Technical Communicators. We will try to have fun in this session!
Speaker: Sylvia Miller
Sponsored by SDL
Attend this session to learn more about streamlined, efficient, and friendly collaboration and review. Organizations are looking to expand the benefits of XML beyond traditional content authors, to new departments and to subject matter experts and reviewers. However, the perceived complexity of XML, and in particular DITA, makes it hard for organizations to adopt such ways of working. SDL LiveContent is designed to eliminate the complexity of XML with intuitive, browser-based WYSIWYG editing, while retaining all the power of XML.
Is work craziness creeping over into the rest of your life? You're not alone. Having the confidence to take control of client relationships can improve all aspects of your life. In this session, you'll learn communication tricks that make the process work more smoothly and not only improve client satisfaction, but prevent the schedule creep that affects the rest of your life. You'll learn how to charge what you're worth, and do so with confidence. You'll also learn how to strategically use the word "no" to give yourself more authority and shift the balance of power out of the client's favor.
by Kapil Verma
Sponsored by Adobe
In this presentation, you will learn many of the exciting new features in the latest release of FrameMaker 12. A new product, FrameMaker XML Author 12, will be introduced and you will see the native multi-device publishing workflows in FrameMaker ieg12. You will also learn newer ways to collaborate efficiently with native Dropbox integration, enhanced PDF reviews, which can be done now even on mobile devices. In addition, there will be LIVE product demos on various authoring and productivity enhancements.
The EXPO features more than 50 booths with exhibitors showcasing products and services relevant to technical communicators. Refreshment breaks are provided in the EXPO Hall. Come visit with exhibitors who can help you get your job done more effectively and efficiently.
Sponsored by MadCap Software
Heard good things about MadCap Flare but haven’t seen it yet? Come to this session for an overview of using Flare to import your existing content, edit, and publish to multiple formats. You’ll learn principles of topic-based authoring and the use of metadata for single-source publishing.
With the demise of HTML Help (CHM files), Help developers have been left looking for a useful method of online Help delivery. HTML5 offers some interesting options because of its ability to adapt to the multitude of screens and devices in use today. The main drawback is that this requires a server-based installation or a local installation of hundreds of individual files. HTML5 delivery also requires that the Help developer buy or create a framework that provides useful navigation to access the topics in the documentation.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a system that offered single-file delivery with built-in navigation, like you had with HTML Help, or WinHelp?
Well, in theory, EPUB could be that system. It is a single-file deliverable, and provides a TOC, Search, Bookmarks, and soon (with EPUB 3.0.1) an Index. EPUB3 is built on HTML5, so you can take advantage of all (well most) of the cool interactive features like video and scripting. This does require the installation of a reader application, but those are available for virtually all devices and platforms, both mobile and desktop.
EPUB3 has been slow to take off since being introduced in May of 2011, but we are finally starting to see more readers that support the new standard. The concept of delivering online Help as an EPUB may not be ready now, but it could be soon, and it may simplify things for the developer while making the documentation available to the end user on any device of their choosing.
In this presentation Scott will discuss the pros and cons of this delivery option and will demonstrate some real working prototypes on various devices.
Whether you are working full time, working as a long-term contractor, or running your own business, networking is essential to career development. Social media can help, but effective use of all your tools is important. Learn best practices for building or expanding a professional network that serves you best.
This session includes best practices for transitioning within your company, building business for your independent business, and filling professional needs within your organization.
by Kai Weber
You're sold on the benefits of structured content, but don't know how to begin? This session shows you how to implement topic-based authoring by converting existing unstructured documentation into structured topics, even in regular office software such as Word.
The underlying process works for online help, user manuals, but also other content, such as wiki articles, training materials, etc., as long as you know which deliverables you need to create and their approximate purpose.
There are several stages to the process. First, you identify topic type or types per content section, for example, concept, task, reference, or use case. Content which mixes topic types can be sorted out with a little care.
Second, re-chunk your sections to turn them into stand-alone topics. You can delete redundant or obsolete information which does not belong into a topic. Or you can spin it off into a topic of its own or integrate it with another, more suitable topic. Special strategies help you to deal with topics that are too complex.
Third, re-sequence your topics, so they flow nicely when users read not just one or two of them, but need to follow a complete process. If the topic sequence doesn’t flow nicely, you may need to add some auxiliary topics which orient readers and ensure a good flow.
Fourth, rewrite headings to guide readers to give users enough orientation when they read just one or two topics. Rephrase them so users can quickly dip in and out of your documentation.
Last, add links between related topics to ensure that the structured topics work in various use cases, even if users refer only to few topics.
This presentation emphasizes practical tasks; you will learn:
Sponsored by WebWorks
Budgets are tight and every department is fighting for resources. In this competitive environment, how do you position yourself to get what you need? This presentation goes over a five-step process on how to have the right conversation to get what you need—when you need it.
Speakers will present and lead discussions about management-related topics.
by Alyssa Fox
After attending this session, attendees will understand the difference between comprehensive, procedural documentation and documentation written with users' goals in mind. The point of targeted documentation is to target what is written to a user's specific goal, job workflow, or scenario. Attendees will be able to use the principles taught in the session to think about their documentation in a new way. Attendees can then follow the steps provided to revamp an existing documentation set or create a new documentation set that focuses on when and why users might do something to achieve their job goals, rather than on documenting the user interface.
17th–21st May 2014