1. Overcoming Design Challenges In
HAT-Based Multichannel Publishing
2. Who Am I?
Perlin - Hyper/Word Services.
– Internationally recognized content creation and
– Help clients create effective, efficient, flexible
content in anything from print to mobile.
– Working with mobile since Windows CE and
WML/WAP c. 1998
– Certified – Viziapps, Flare, Mimic, RoboHelp.
3. The Issue
tech comm get involved in mobile?
– If we don‟t, someone else will.
– See my workshop on “pure” apps, this session
on web apps and ebooks from HATs.
to expect when we single source our
content to “mobile”?
– Let‟s take a look…
4. First, Some
5. Terminology – eBooks
la Kindle, Nook.
– Largely linear format
– Generally sit on the
– Good for stable,
– Largely the focus of tech comm now, in my
6. Terminology – Apps
for mobile devices.
– Highly focused – “micro-tasking” – compared
to PC-style applications.
– Native – Follow a platform standard, easily run
– Web – (“Mobile web”.) Run in browser on any
device, can‟t easily run on-device resources,
may be mobile-optimized – e.g. WebHelp vs.
– Hybrid – Combine native and web, HTML5.
7. Apps and Tech Comm
app dev from tech comm so far, in
my experience, for several reasons.
– “Mobile” is still new in the tech comm world
and companies aren‟t sure of the need yet.
– Until Flare and RoboHelp added mobile output
support, “going mobile” required a whole new
set of tools and skills.
» Like the situation in „91 when online help appeared
and „97 when online help went to HTML.
8. Apps and Tech Comm
compared to “normal”
tech comm, apps are
Sometimes weirdly so…
9. Apps and Tech Comm
yet, this is “doc”.
As is this…
10. Why Terminology Matters
choice of hardware and softwarerelated delivery “mechanisms”.
Terminology mixups can spell disaster.
– Risks buying the wrong tools or hiring the
– Like not being clear re WebHelp vs. Web Help
or HTML help vs. HTML Help.
11. Authoring Tools?
what “mobile” you want:
– eBooks – ePub, using RoboHelp 8+, Flare 8+.
– Web apps (general) – Any HAT that outputs
browser-based help like WebHelp.
– Web apps (mobile-optimized) – Flare 6+, “mobilizers” like DudaMobile and Mobify, ViziApps.
– Native apps – RoboHelp 10, GUI app dev tools
like ViziApps, iBuildApp, appmakr, etc.
12. Why Author Using a GUI HAT?
– You may know the tool, so you only have to
learn a few new features.
– Keep you out of the code.
– Set technical boundaries for you.
– HAT may not offer features you expect in a
– Possible code bloat.
13. Help vs. Mobile –
usually text-heavy, apps not.
there are exceptions, sort of…
16. Text-Heaviness Suggestion
down text – not fat but real text – to
the bare bones.
A less extreme version of this, perhaps…
17. Control Positioning
at top and left in help…
18. Control Types and Locations
at the bottom in apps – less tap risk…
in help, portrait
(typically) in apps.
20. Some Screen Design Points
is usually created in landscape format
for large screens with the main controls at
the top of the screen.
Mobile on tablets is similar.
Mobile on phones is the opposite, unless
screen rotation is enabled.
21. More Screen Design Points
the effect of
screen rotation on an
app jammed into a
portrait mode screen,
like this one:
Can you force screen
rotation to off?
22. Some Content Design Points
may be too wide for phone screens.
– Can size them dynamically to fit by setting the
width to % and height to auto.
– But are they still legible?
– If not, can you conditionalize them out?
– If you do, does that affect the contents?
– May call for greater granularity of content…
– And need a CMS to deal with the greater # of
content chunks even if traditional help did not.
23. More Content Design Points
wide or “complex” tables.
– Won‟t run on iOS – must be MP4 or HTML5.
– Are text captions legible or must you replace
them with audio, which means creating 2+
versions of each movie.
– What happens to interactivity in a mouseless
24. Still More…
platform differences for feature
support and need to rework material.
– Minimal table support in ebook formats.
– Lack of support for Word bullets in KDP even
though Createspace supports them.
– Many more, no doubt…
problems like tables, graphics,
SWFs, popups, etc., embedded in snippets.
Popup links that convert to jumps.
25. And Still More…
with no equivalent controls in
mobile, like Flare togglers.
Graphics management may have to change
as graphics get stored in the cloud, perhaps
using Amazon S3.
26. And More Still…
can mobile-optimize your regular site
using tools like Mobify or DudaMobile
27. Web Apps – Creation
my regular web site from January…
28. Web Apps – Creation
web site on an
– Works fine via scrolling,
pinch and zoom
– But hard to use.
29. Web Apps – Creation
site partly mobileoptimized via DudaMobile.
– Aesthetics need work but now
a much better mobile site.
– Still a web site – e.g. a web
– NOT a native app.
– $9/month for hosting.
30. Web Apps – Creation
web and mobile versions don‟t match.
I created the mobile version by hand.
Because the original site was never meant
to be mobilized; the result showed it.
Lesson – expect to redesign your content
before you can multichannel publish it
31. A Design Tool
what you have to
Where does your thumb go?
What can you reach? What
do you obscure?
– If you‟re a righty?
– A lefty?
32. Design Conclusions
converted to mobile won‟t look like
If you‟re single sourcing a help project to
mobile, plan for mobile before starting the
More than just outputting a help project to
of new technical, design, and output
options to balance.
– Define your terms, platforms and differences.
sounds daunting, but so did the move by
tech comm to online help and the web in
the „90s and still today.
We met those challenges – time to do so
34. Hyper/Word Services Offers…
Training • Consulting • Development
Mobile Flare • Mobile RoboHelp
Flare • RoboHelp
Single sourcing • Structured authoring