Rethinking content from paper to tablets, mobile screens and ePubs

This session will cover several approaches to breaking old authoring habits associated with traditional computer screens and paper. It will also show you how to envision content through the smaller lens of a smart phone or tablet while starting your project with essential information; guidelines for expanding or contracting content for larger screens and deeper information will also be covered. Motivational techniques for getting your staff on board with these new strategies will be included in a presentation with brief, live software demonstrations which illustrate key points.

Have you ever tried to “thumb” your way through a 9-item bulleted list on a smart phone? If so, you have a sense of the changes needed for sensible display of technical content for multiple screens. We’re all aware of the critical need to deliver content to an increasing variety of smaller screens, from shrinking tablets to smartphones. At the same time, we often need to deliver a “fuller” version of the same content to desktop HTML or, yes, even PDF and paper.

Although there are a number of solutions to achieve this goal, most of us have to shift to a new mind set while writing or authoring content destined for display that is a fraction of the real estate provided by a traditional sheet of paper. “Learn the rules, then choose the tools.” We must also satisfy consumers’ shrinking attention span, as well as the need for mission-critical information to be swiftly found by “readers in motion” and “readers at rest” in cubicles who have much shorter attention spans due to the ever-increasing Niagara or information they must navigate through. The advent of HTML5 has moved our possibilities beyond traditional tri-paned HELP layout. Discover how new workflows and tools can help you achieve your goals.

Maxwell Hoffman
Maxwell Hoffman
Adobe Systems

Maxwell Hoffmann is Adobe System’s Product Evangelist for Tech Comm. A former product manager for FrameMaker at Frame Technology (prior to product acquisition by Adobe), Hoffmann also spent a dozen years managing complex, multi-lingual production in the language translation industry with output to print, Help and ePubs. Hoffmann has also provided face-to-face, hands-on training to over 1,200 people in scalable authoring solutions and has written several White Papers that were voluntarily translated into German, Japanese and Korean. He has managed projects in DITA, XML as well as authoring tools ranging from Word, InDesign, Quark Express to structured FrameMaker.

Hoffmann is based in a virtual office near Portland, Oregon and can be followed on Twitter as @maxwellhoffmann and @AdobeTCS.