Besides being a Platinum Sponsor for this year’s STC Summit in Chicago, Adobe also pulled together a “deep dive” thought leader “pre-conference” event held the morning before the conference officially kicked off. Our marketing team worked overtime bringing some of the brightest subject matter experts together for what was essentially a “demo-less” event. Adobe’s mission was to promote strategic information, not product. (We had a booth for that.)
It was literally standing room only; not only was every seat filled with some last minute registrants, at one point we had 6 people seated outside the door! Due to the high volume of Tweets during the event, we had many requests for slides and information from the event. This blog is our attempt to recapture highlights of the event for all who could not attend.
DEVELOPING AN ADAPTIVE CONTENT STRATEGY
Leading content strategist Ann Rockley presented a highly original vision of a new approach to strategizing content. Due to our multiplying audiences and the high proliferation of new devices (tablets, smart phones, etc.) we have to create intelligently structured content that can adapt to devices that don’t even exist yet.
The link below will display Ann’s presentation, which we’ve uploaded to our AdobeTCS Slideshare account. You will find it highly thought provoking.
Multi-Screen Help Authoring – How to Deal with the Explosion in Device Sizes
Joe Welinske makes a point behind his “science fair” array of display devices (which all demand different format on delivery.)
oe Welinske started his presentation with a “bang”, carrying in what appeared to be a “science project.” Joe had a variety of devices that all needed to display the same content in a variety of different ways.
He had multiple hardware devices on a large tray; each was eventually hooked up to the projector to make real world challenges of single-source publishing patently clear.
Joe showed several clever manual techniques for tweeking stylesheets to alter the display of data to be appropriate for anything from an iPad or mobile device to common laptops.
Although his slides (embedded below) are excellent, he showed a great deal of actual style sheet code, revealing that is solution was brilliant, but no simple matter.
Multi-Purposing your Policy and Procedure Content for Today’s Enterprises
Beth Gerber and Pam Harrison of Lightext shared an intriguing, real world case study that involved crafting a solution for a major financial institution using RoboHelp for single-source publishing. The Adobe product was only used incidentally and illustratively to show how a proper strategy using conditional text control and topic based authoring can repurpose the same content for both Policy & Procedure Manuals, and all related training mateials. (Note: traditionally these two publications are often authored and managed by different departments.)
You will notice that Beth and Pam’s slide deck is shorter than the others; this is because 80% of their presentation was “live demo” of “before and after” transformation of legacy data.
Incidentally, an important point arose during Q&A after the Lightext session. Although they were perfectly capable of publishing to mobile devices or tablets via RoboHelp, their client (a financial institution) had major security concerns that precludes the content from being “portable” at this time. We sometime have to remind ourselves that there are many public and private sectors where it is not yet possible to carry confidential information out of the building in your pocket.
Panel: “The Decade Ahead: Opportunities and Challenges for Tech Comm Professionals”
Adobe easily could have let the event run overtime due to the intense interest participants invested in this portion of the project. Each subject matter expert on the panel had highly original visions of where we are going. Several panelists were also honest that there are some areas of content delivery and practice 5 or 10 years in the future that will remain unknown to all of us for quite some time due to high proliferation of new authoring tools, workflows and a seemingly endless parade of smaller, better display devices.
The only complaint about the event is that we should have had a bigger room. Although it is unfortunate that our event coincided with some STC leader meetings (talk about thought leaders), the concepts revealed in our Thought Leader event were widely discussed throughout the remainder of the conference. Be sure to follow our blogs, Facebook and Tweets closely to take advantage of the next event that occurs near you.