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Adobe Day UK 2013: Seek and ye shall find

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A look at how you can improve your help file's searchability by using existing help application functionality and a handful of third party applications.

A look at how you can improve your help file's searchability by using existing help application functionality and a handful of third party applications.

Published in: Technology, Design

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  • 1. Colum McAndrewRoboColum(n) ConsultingSeek and ye shall find:Improving your help systems search resultsAdobe Day at UA Europe ConferenceManchester, UK12 June 2013
  • 2. Slide 2 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Or to put it another way…
  • 3. Slide 3 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”83rdresult!24thresult!
  • 4. Slide 4 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013The Google guide to searching
  • 5. Slide 5 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Things to consider Help type Content structure SEO (web based) Synonyms Metadata◦ Index◦ Topic Stop words
  • 6. Slide 6 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Help output characteristics Search differs by theoutput type. Authoring tools usedifferent algorithms. Same applies tosearch engines.
  • 7. Slide 7 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Content structure: Adobe RoboHelp Topic title Topic keywords Heading styles Topic text Index keywordsQuestion:What elements affect how a topic isdisplayed in the search rankings?There arefive in total
  • 8. Slide 8 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Content structure: Madcap Flare Topic title Heading styles Topic text
  • 9. Slide 9 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Online Search Engine OptimisationWillam van Weelden’swebinar:“Optimizing your RoboHelpcontent for best SEOresults”http://adobe.ly/Pbdp0J URL Topic title Keyword positioning
  • 10. Slide 10 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013SynonymsUseful for: Localisatione.g. UK v US English Typographical errorse.g. Mispell v Misspell Verbiagee.g. Adding v Creating
  • 11. Slide 11 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Metadata
  • 12. Slide 12 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Uses for metadataUseful for: Overview topics Video 3D images Sample files
  • 13. Slide 13 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Stop words Don’t trust your stopword list. Amend it if you can. Look out for:◦ Formula (boolean)logic.◦ Nouns / Adjectives
  • 14. Slide 14 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Wrensoft Zoomhttp://www.wrensoft.com/zoom/index.htmlhttp://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/zoomsearch/zoomsearch.htm
  • 15. Slide 15 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Yay! I found it.
  • 16. Slide 16 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Using Wrensoft Zoom A few additional files must be included with theoutput. These include two that are editable: Basic search template that you “brand”. Search template display settings. BEWARE! By default these files are overwritteneach time the output is generated / published. ZoomSearch only works with web based output.
  • 17. Slide 17 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Take Away TipsThink about the different elements of a topic. Askyourself the following questions:• Does the Topic Title accurately describe thecontent.• What is the one word that you’d expect to seemore than any other in the topic?• Could the use of different heading styles or topicmetadata ensure a topic is more accuratelyindexed?
  • 18. Slide 18 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Educate your users Fact 1:People think they know how tosearch. Fact 2:Search tools do not all work thesame way. Fact 3:If users can’t find what they want,they go elsewhere.
  • 19. Slide 19 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013The Darwin Award for searching goes to…
  • 20. Slide 20 © RoboColum(n) Consulting 2013Contact the RoboColum(n)@robocolumnrobocolumn@cmcandrew.comhttp://uk.linkedin.com/in/notcolinwww.cmcandrew.comwww.robocolumn.com