Rebuilding Your Mindset for the Future of Content Work [Tekom /TCWorld 2013]


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[A variant of my session from now with "The bright side of the NSA scandal!]
This session is about getting yourself ready for the future, whatever it may bring. Change is not something that we usually excel at in technical communications.

If we don’t update our thinking, content and methods, each new wave of technology puts us yet another step behind the curve. Even though tablets and smart phones have reached near ubiquity with professional users, most organisations do not have their people, processes, platforms or content ready for mobile delivery. Many are not even internet-ready. Today we’re bombarded by announcements of new content creation and consumption technologies that are wearable, social, dynamic or embedded directly in products.

Although we can talk about how to do something about it, before our content and processes can change, we must change. We must address what is actually holding us back: how we think about our content in the first place.

This session will provide a new and inspiring perspective on how you can and must work with content to be ready for the future. We’ll look at updating our processes, structures and the biases and habits that surround them.

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  • Survey response metrics (Stuff we’d want to be capturing for Nick anyway)What do users want to see? How does DITA track back to that?Screenshot CHM version of the Elekta content?Users want to know “known problems in the field” for every release. Connect with the user community to see what needs solving in advance. Currently delivering an excel file of this list of content. Even a tiny change that links up the community’s collective knowledge is enough to get users excited.DURATION: 35, Q&A, talk, 5 minutes to change“Social” isn’t limited to WIKIs, Forums, Facebook, and Twitter.  More and more organisations are looking at how community content can complement (and select few cases, replace) their formal product content. Also, many are noticing how much overlap there is with social content platforms and their own intranets, internal business collaboration and knowledge sharing platforms.  For most, putting documentation fully in the hands of the users – even internal subject matter experts – isn’t an option, or is simply not desirable. Also, creating yet another silo of social content isn’t helpful for users trying to find answers. So, how can community and formally created content play nicely together? In this session see best practice concepts and case study examples from software and regulated high-tech manufacturing demonstrating:  - What a content lifecycle means in socially enabled landscape- How mobile and embedded documentation tie-up with social content- How the DITA platform can form the core of a socially-enabled documentation platform- How internal SME and external customer communities can be leveraged for maximum benefit to both - The impact on: editorial process, metrics and measurement, version management, content models, workflow, and metadata strategies
  • Building up a content as a strategic business assetDelivering to native apps and the mobile webEstablishing cross-silo integrated practices for meeting customer needsApplying content standards and best practiceMeasuring content's cost and performance with metricsDeveloping your content strategyImplementing Component Content Management Systems (CCMS)Mastering change managementRay:
  • MinimalismDecision supportConcepts at the right time
  • Use of video/
  • Rebuilding Your Mindset for the Future of Content Work [Tekom /TCWorld 2013]

    1. 1. Rebuilding your mindset for the future of content work
    2. 2. Noz Urbina ~ Consultant/Trainer for Mekon Ltd. – – – – Content strategy, Technical Communications 10 years in content and mark-up Author Chairperson for Congility Events (
    3. 3. The challenge
    4. 4. Free, Social AR Smartphone App
    5. 5. Gesture control
    6. 6. BMW Augmented Reality
    7. 7. Combined solutions ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Two engineers (one onsite, one at a desk) + Augmented reality headsets + High quality gesture control + Large displays + The cloud + Extranet content + = Your best engineer anywhere
    8. 8. Your best engineer anywhere Support Desk Field Engineer
    9. 9. What’s holding us back? THE MINDSET BARRIER
    10. 10. Silos in the Organisation Customer Needs
    11. 11. Our species once couldn’t translate 3D content to a 2D canvas
    12. 12. Don Yang, 950s Raphael, 1510
    13. 13. Customer experience is 4D 4th 1. Length 2. Width 3. Depth 1. 2. 3. 4. “Drill down” Progressive disclosure Multi-asset relationships / references Search/Social <-> Main content 4. Time 1. 2. Dynamic, real-time content Audience/context-specific content 2n 1st
    14. 14. We Conceive Content in 2D Marketing (HTML) ProdMan or TechComm (PDF)
    15. 15. Customer experience is 4D Authored “I’d like an answer now please” (14: 25 Sep 26, 2013) All publishing is now database publishing Watch my blog for more detail...
    16. 16. Twitter is a first-D platform ~ Each tweet provides the tips of various content “pyramids” you can drill into
    17. 17. Kindle in 4D – Task timing
    18. 18. Kindle in 4D – Social highlights
    19. 19. How we create meaning We compare each individual situation… … with personal past experience… … by matching… Mental models ~ Semi-consciously selected, incomplete images ~ What (we think) we understand of the world ~ How we face the world: Options? Solutions? Confidence? Kai Weber,
    20. 20. The biggest barrier ~ Our mental models of content are going out of date – Our flat, 2D models of content don’t map to the 4D world of customers ~ User expectations are driven by the world they live in, not (just) what we publish to them
    21. 21. Content modelling and the Android Design Principles THE ANSWER: CONTENT DESIGN
    22. 22. Simplify My Life ~ Only show me what I need when I need it
    23. 23. Embedded help
    24. 24. Proactive assistance ~ Timed appropriately for my skills and context – UI item descriptions – Field validation guidance (number or date formats; where the user can find the data; banned characters) – Concept short descriptions – Terminology / Glossary – Wizard introductions – Lists of related help tasks ~ Could be replace (or at least reuse to/from) traditional help or manuals.
    25. 25. Enchant Me ~ Let me make it mine / Get to know me
    26. 26. Socially enabled across silos Let users build and share their own deliverables, for any format
    27. 27. Simplify My Life ~ Keep it brief
    28. 28. Simplify My Life ~ Pictures are faster than words
    29. 29.
    30. 30. Content strategy BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
    31. 31. Content Strategy More than words, more than tech Development efficiency & significant cost avoidance Brand Equity, regional markets & revenue channels Business Goals Enabling, Product data & Technical Content Persuasive, Sales & Marketing Content Unified Framework for Content Delivery, Measurement and Improvement
    32. 32. Final Take-Aways ~ Don't think about your year at the expense of your career ~ We are responsible for the whole customer experience ~ We have to collaborate ~ Structuring content gives it agility – You’re not making deliverables. You’re making content that might be expressed in many, many deliverables
    33. 33. @thecsbook BOOK DRAW!