Workshops

You’ve defined a content strategy, so all you have left to do is implement it, right? Well, maybe. If you’re in an enterprise of any size, your strategy encompasses far more than the content for which you are personally responsible. The most critical precursor to successfully implementing your strategy is to define and develop the right ecosystem of people and processes to ensure the best information experience for your customers while enabling your content creators to flourish and be productive. Understanding the influencers and inhibitors of that ecosystem will enable you to create the best possible environment for implementing your strategy.

Join Alyson and Andrea to learn more about:

  • Defining and applying an end-to-end product lifecycle to ensure efficient business processes and methodologies from the outside in, including:
    • Gathering, analyzing, and prioritizing market and user requirements
    • Understanding the business goals affecting your strategy
  • Effectively influencing the human component of the ecosystem, including:
    • Collaborating across the enterprise to establish and maintain communication, business controls, governance, and standards
    • Ensuring transparency, community, and the organic growth of content
    • Developing organizational strategies to support your strategy
  • Defining and measuring success using metrics for internal efficiency and external effectiveness

 
Ann Rockley
President, The Rockley Group

Content Marketing is gaining recognition as more and more consumers tune out the cacophony of marketing and social media. Providing consumers with high-value content, versus a hard-sell, is gaining more customers and establishing corporate credibility and expertise.

While organizations can outsource their content marketing development, most organizations have a treasure trove of good content at their fingertips; they just need to know how to find and leverage it.

This workshop will provide hands-on understanding of how to:

  • Map customer needs to the rich sources of content being generated across the
  • Define a content strategy that supports your customer from interest to acquisition, to long-term strong brand loyalty.
  • Develop structured content models that enable you to adapt your content to multiple audiences, multiple channels, and multiple devices.

Participants will walk away with a clear set of guidelines for creating a unified content marketing strategy that supports your customers anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

 
Bernard Aschwanden
Publishing Smarter

In this hands-on, interactive workshop on improving the user experience, learn how to plan your next help project to include not only the print or online materials, but to also use the best practices in giving the audience what they need, in the format they want, and at the time they
need it.

Using the latest Adobe Technical Communication Suite (if you don’t have it, we’ll have 30 day trials for you to use) create a full documentation plan, build content, develop videos, and combine your content into one seamless deliverable. Publish to formats including PDF, online help, and even to YouTube.

Learn to use the tools correctly and plan for success. When done, return to your job with the tools, tips and tricks to ensure you can deliver what your users want.

 
Char James-Tanny
President, JTF Associates, Inc.

You’re reading a tweet, or a Facebook or LinkedIn status update, or an email that includes a link. You click the link and a browser tab opens. You read the information, and then continue on. But what do you do if after you click the link, nothing appears? What do you do if your mouse stops working (or you can’t use it, perhaps because of a broken arm), and nothing happens when you press the TAB key? How do you get the information? How do you navigate? For many people who use screen readers or who can’t use the mouse because of mobility issues, these are common occurrences. But with some changes to the underlying code, you can create web pages that can be used by anyone, even those using older browsers.

During this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • About the differences between HTML4 and HTML5
  • How to create a basic HTML5 page
  • What ARIA is
  • About ARIA roles, properties, and states
  • How to set up keyboard navigation
  • How to create an accessible menu
  • How to create a slider
  • How to create a form
  • How to create a data table
  • Getting more information about ARIA
 
Eric Freese
codeMantra

As more and more rely on their mobile devices for access to online content, organizations are looking at these platforms in new ways.  The eBook reader is often a logical target platform.  However, there are differing standards and channels available, each with differing capabilities.  This makes choosing the right platform even more challenging.  This tutorial will discuss the various standards and platforms, highlighting the opportunities for delivering enhanced content and the challenges that a content creator might face in migrating to these platforms.  We will also discuss which enhancements make sense for different types of content in order to help content owners make wise decisions before spending a large budget for content users will never access.

 
Jackie Damrau and Joe Gollner
ARIS Trainer—The Americas at Software AG USA, Inc / Director of Gnostyx Research

In 2012, we presented “Documenting Business Processes Online using One Tool” that excited the audience to view project documentation in a different light. This year, I’d like to continue the discussion by sharing more information about how Structured Business Process Modeling helps business analysts, developers, and QA testers to see the requirements in a graphical form. Structured Business Process Modeling requires an attention to detail to show not only the “happy path” of a requirement, but to identify the many decision paths that a customer may encounter when accessing your Web site or using your specific digital media device.

In this presentation, I’ll cover the different modeling approaches and the business process level architecture pyramid, show an example of each level of the pyramid, cover the common notation used in two standards-based modeling methods: EPC (Event-driven Process Chain) and BPMN (Business Process Management Notation), and conclude by sharing where one can gain more information in the world of business process management.


 
James Loomstein
Digital Space Consulting

Site traffic is useless without visitors becoming customers. Most businesses face the same inherent problem – obscurity. People don’t know you – and therefore, they can’t buy from you. My goal is teach conference attendees how to leverage digital content and search engine optimization (SE0) to increase/optimize website traffic.

In 60 minutes we will fundamentally change the way attendees approach their web marketing strategy. The goal – be where your customers are when they are looking for your type of product/service.

What attendees will learn:

  • How content marketing and conversion optimization increase organic search ranking
  • Strategically using keywords in natural search to invoke action
  • Content marketing and conversion optimization tools for everyday use (scribeseo.com, usertersting.com, clicktale.com, seomoz.com, semrush.com, spyfu.com, ubersuggest.org)
 
Joe Gollner and Nolwenn Kerzreho
Director, Gnostyx Research and Consultant, Componize Software

Many organizations that have invested in content management solutions have done so to realize improvements in how they deliver product information to customers. And many of these organizations have realized notable benefits from these investments. But these organizations have also learned something along the way – namely that improving how you share information with customers, important as it is, is only one part of the puzzle. What is really needed is a fundamental renovation in how product information is handled across the entire product lifecycle.

Given the scope of this challenge, and the fact that there are so many disciplinary islands involved, tackling the product information lifecycle can be a daunting prospect. The good news is that organizations that have put into place a modernized content management and publishing environment for addressing the information needs of their customers have also put into place the infrastructure they need to tackle the inevitable problems that persist in the product information lifecycle.

When it is recognized that the behavior that is being facilitated with content technologies is collaboration across and between specialized disciplines then you have everything you need to jump to the next level. Using practical examples implemented using state-of-the-art content management, publishing and engagement solutions, this workshop will introduce participants to what can be achieved when collaboration is enabled among all the stakeholders in an integrated product lifecycle.

 
Massimo Paolini and Liz Fraley
Single Sourcing Solutions / Spectrum Group

Techcomm is starting to talk about how to apply analytics to technical publications content. Customers come to content to find something. Metadata can bring them to your content; user experience studies can help you create more focused content; but does your content really perform?

When a customer comes to your content, they’re typically looking for help in getting started, how to do something specific, or how to fix a problem. Do your how-tos for critical product features see high page views compared to similar how-tos? What is the time, usage level, and connection to other documentation in the greater set of company product content? You know the goal and basic description of the documents you write, but are your documents getting used to solve those goals for customers?

How do you know? More importantly, how do you find out? Do you simply hope that the search engine will do the right thing or that customers will spend valuable time trying to find exactly the right piece of content you wrote? Do they have to sift through pages of search results because the most relevant content isn’t coming up first?
Getting your users to your content is more than meta-tags, indexes, and TOCs. In this session, we focuses on explaining how SEO applies to technical communications content and why you would apply analytics fundamentals when writing techcomm content. In this session, we will talk about how SEO writing techniques fit right into your corporate content strategy and how you can use qualitative assessment to helps drive website traffic and improve the reputation of your content and your company

 

 
Neil Perlin
Hyper/Word Services

After a decade of false starts, mobile has taken off in the mass market. Tens of thousands of apps are available for iPhones, Android phones, and other devices; is there room for more in this seemingly saturated market?

Surprisingly, yes. Many of those existing apps are simply variations on a theme; search for Angry Birds in the App Store and you’ll get 1,142 hits. But those apps may not address the specific needs of internal business markets —think Internet vs. intranet. Who’ll create these new, customized apps to address these internal business markets? More to the point, can technical communicators create them?

Until recently, the answer was usually no because app creation required a professional programmer. Today, however, new GUI mobile app development tools are emerging. These tools hide most or all of the coding and let the authors focus on the app’s content, functionality, and appearance. (Think about trying to create a help system by working directly in the XHTML vs. working with a GUI tool like Flare or RoboHelp and you’ll get the picture.) In this workshop, you’ll try it. In four hours, you’ll create a simple but functional native app with no coding. You’ll:

  • Do this using a GUI native app development tool called ViziApps Studio.
  • Leave with an overview of app design principles and an actual app with data you can modify without being a programmer.
  • Get a good sense of what you can create and the initial knowledge needed to research other tools.
  • Work hands-on, alternating between viewing explanatory slides and actually creating the app.

Prerequisites:

  • A laptop running Windows XP or above, preferably Windows 7, or a current Mac, and IE 9, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.
  • An iPhone running iOS 5 or an Android phone running Android 2.2 or above.

Setup:

You’ll receive specific setup instructions about a week before the workshop. Setup will take under an hour and is free.


 
Noz Urbina
Senior Consultant, Mekon
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Rhyne Armstrong, Bonni Graham, and Lisa Pietrangeli
RouteMatch Software / Global Scholar / ThirtySix Software

Ready to break out of your shell? Need to pitch a product or idea? Been asked to demonstrate a new application or feature? In Part I of this workshop, Rhyne Armstrong from RouteMatch Software will take you through the necessary steps for creating and delivering a presentation that will make a lasting impact on your audience. We will cover different types of presentations, delivery styles, visual aids, handouts, and how to prepare for the unexpected. Our goal is to equip you with the skills and confidence you need to step up, speak out, and show off!

Never be stumped by interview questions or meetings! In Part II, Bonni Graham from Global Scholar and the improv group, “The Creative Urges,” and will explore business and career lessons learned from improvisational comedy. Improv comedy hones your reaction skills so you can avoid being stumped in the moment, then thinking of the perfect thing to say once you’re back at your desk. Although improv looks unstructured, in fact there are a few simple rules that can help you think on your feet faster in any situation. We’ll view a few slides, play a few games, and have a good time!

Finally, in Part III of this workshop, Lisa Pietrangeli will show you how to influence change in your company. Technical communicators learn about new tools and methods, yet often are not equipped with the confidence and language necessary to sell an idea back to their companies. As a technical communicator, you are up to date on all of the new writing methods and innovative tools of the trade. You know how important content reuse is, how critical good templates are, and how best to work on a team. However, when you identify a better method or a better tool, or recognize opportunities for process improvements, it can be a challenge to convince your company to explore your solution and to get a budget approved.

Technical communicators attend conferences and programs all the time to improve their own knowledge and skills. They are intelligent, adaptable, capable people, yet often lack the confidence to be change leaders in their companies. Through use of a case-study example and hands-on exercises, we will discuss how to be effective at impacting change, getting your company’s support, and helping your company succeed.

 
Seth Earley
CEO of Earley & Associates

Planning, composing and organizing content and creative assets with taxonomy for multi-channel publishing, dynamic presentation, and responsiveness to audience context – that’s Content Choreography!

Join Seth Earley for this half-day LavaCon 2013 Pre-Conference Workshop on Content Choreography to learn how Earley & Associates clients are using taxonomy and metadata to drive authoring and creative, translation and publishing processes, content lifecycle, Ux dynamics, content indexing, site search facets and filtering, even SEO, for greater marketing agility.

  • Get the information architecture view of how to harness and harmonize taxonomy across systems, processes, channels, devices and presentation layers to drive content in context.
  • Take a look inside a mobile app design to see how content, taxonomy and interactive wireframe techniques combine to produce a compelling user experience.
  • And walk away with pragmatic, actionable recommendations for a Content Choreography roadmap and pilot that will fit within your launch schedule.
 
Sharmila Rammohan
Manager of Technical Publications, Synopsys

The written word can be interpreted in different ways depending on the audience. How can we ensure that our multicultural audiences easily understand the information we present in technical documentation? This session will focus on how to convert complex information using appropriate visual aids and will cover a broad range of topics in visual technical communication, including basic design principles applicable to any medium; effective presentation of concepts, procedures, reference information, and numerical data to make documentation easy to understand for global audiences. It will be a mini-workshop with some example exercises.