The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Carrie Sheaffer

Carrie Sheaffer is the Director of Technical and Training Content at Nextworld, a software company offering cutting-edge enterprise applications and a no-code platform. Carrie began her career in 2001, working as a junior technical writer and learning how to document API. Over the years, she has written developer documentation, designed documentation for emerging products, managed writers in the US and abroad, and developed a reputation for effective management and strategic thinking. Since 2017, she has been directing the Technical Communications efforts at Nextworld, guiding the construction of an all-new documentation suite.

Why Nextworld is Writing Our Own Content Applications and How We’re Working Towards Content 4.0

It’s one of the perpetual challenges of technical content: how do you keep content up to date, when field names and UI elements change rapidly? At Nextworld, this problem is compounded by a platform and applications designed from the ground up to be highly customizable. How could we effectively (and efficiently) create content when what a customer sees in their environment is unpredictable? We solved this dilemma by fully integrating our documentation in the platform. Our content is aware of the environment and responds to changes. A few of the things we have been able to achieve through this approach:

  • Field names that automatically update in the documentation when the UI changes.
  • Automatically generated reference tables that include all field-level help for every application—out of the box.
  •  Process flow diagrams that dynamically update when the process definition changes.No existing content management or authoring solution met our needs—so we built our own.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • The biggest challenges we’ve faced when designing our own applications.
  • Strategies for carving out development resources.
  • A look behind the scenes at our content applications.
  • An overview of the benefits we’ve reaped from this approach.