Second looks: White Paper on Flexible Interaction Language with UDVs (RoboHelp)

Thursday, August 29 2013 @ 12:07 PM, By Maxwell Hoffmann

Adobe Tech Comm periodically posts “in depth” white papers to help you choose strategies, master tools and overcome production challenges. One paper we posted a few months ago merits a second look. This blog touches on some key points you will discover when you download the paper.

You may download the white paper by clicking here: Employing a flexible interaction language scheme with User Defined Variables — please note that you will land on a page that resembles an event registration page. User your free Adobe.com credentials to move further, then select the white paper as indicated in the screen shot below:

003 DOWNLOAD PAGE

A flexible interactive language scheme

Respected thought leader, Joe Welinske, of WritersUA, authored a thoughtful white paper on how to define and categorize user defined variables that can be used as place holders for common gestures and commands in your software.

As Welinske makes clear, there are a growing number of software interaction types, as illustrated below:

001 JW types

The challenge today is that your software, application or web portal may be accessed from:

  • a computer desktop
  • a tablet (e.g. iPad , Galaxy)
  • or a mobile phone (iPhone, Droid, etc.)

In such cases, a command for “File->Open” could change to quite a different swipe or finger gesture on a tablet.

Using a new strategy

To quote Welinske:

Using a generic set of verbs definitely simplifies the development process. For example, you could use the word ‘select’ to represent choosing an item in the user interface. ‘Select’ can apply to keyboard, mouse or touch interfaces.

 The simulated screen below quotes a further example from Welinske on how one gesture may vary from device to device:

002 examples

Methodology in RoboHelp

As Welinske maintains in this white paper, there are three major steps to work with UDVs (User Defined Variables) in RoboHelp:

  1. Define your UDVs
  2. Add UDVs to your topics
  3. Assign UDV sets to screen profiles

View the recorded webinar on Flexible Interaction Language as well

You may also benefit from watching a recorded webinar from a few months ago, in which Joe Welinske showed several live demos to support the thesis of this white paper. You may view the webinar recording by clicking here: Employing a Flexible Interaction Language Scheme with User Defined Variables (UDVs)

Please note that, as with the white paper download, the link above will take you to a landing page that resembles registration for an event. Use your free Adobe.com credentials to log in, and the recording will begin. You may wish to use headphones if you are in a cubicle.

Have your own hands-on with RoboHelp 10 and decide how you can use it

After watching these videos, you may wish to have your own hands-on with RoboHelp. The quickest way to do this is to have use a trial copy of Tech Comm Suite 4, which includes FrameMaker 11 and RoboHelp 10. You can try your own hands-on by clicking here. This link also includes a link to a Quick Start Guide for RoboHelp.

 

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