When gray scale is better: Getting Real: Electronic Documents in the Field

Friday, June 22 2012 @ 3:51 PM, By Maxwell Hoffmann

This blog touches on highlights of Joe Gollner’s excellent co-Webinar with Adobe TCS on “Getting Real”, creating documentation for challenging environments where backlit screens and relatively short battery life for an iPad may not work well. There are a variety of areas, ranging from military to remote construction, where eReaders with opaque, grayscale screens can work better.

 

Getting real: Electronic Documents in the Field

Sometimes, less “sexy” document display works better

Most of us are attracted to color, rich, multi-level documentation that can be nimbly navigated on an iPad or similar tablet device. Joe Gollner covers several scenarios where “more limited” display can actually work better.

Backlit, full color displays can temporarily destroy your night vision. You may have experienced this yourself, if you tried to read your iPhone email in a dark hotel room, turned off screen display and tried to walk to the bathroom. You may have walked into a wall!

Devices that use gray scale eInk screens like the Kindle and similar eReaders can work better under harsh military conditions or for remote constructions “off-the-grid.”

Intelligent content is the key

Regardless of the device, carefully planned and managed documentation data is the key. This is yet another area where topic-based authoring and intelligent content management can make all the difference. Although this webinar was “demo-free,” Adobe’s Tech Comm Suite (specifically FrameMaker integrated with RoboHelp) can be an ideal solution for converting legacy data this type of content delivery.

View the recorded webinar

Although Gollner’s slides are very enlightening, a tremendous amount of knowledge was transmitted anecdotally during the June 21st webinar. You may view “Getting Real: Electronic Documents in the Field” webinar in its entirety, if you have a free Adobe.com account credentials. You will find that although color and back lit tablet display will continue its popularity within a large segment of technical documentation, black-and-white and vector artwork may be with us for quite some time to come.

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