The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Robin Melanson

Robin Melanson is a Content Strategist at Ciena, where she works on implementing terminology, style guidelines, and translation workflows for product documentation. The writer’s perspective and experience are important to her, as well as that of the product documentation users. Robin holds a Master of Information Studies from McGill University. She is interested in how metadata, data curation, and knowledge management inform content strategy.
She lives in Montreal, Canada, where she enjoys growing vegetables and playing board games in her spare time.

Ciena’s Journey to consistent Product Documentation using Controlled Language

Co-presented with: Torsten Machert of Congree & Susanna Carlisi of Ciena

With an XML-based CMS, Ciena achieved one important goal: the content structure became consistent and independent from the author. The challenge was now to make sure that the writers use the correct language and terminology consistently across different locations and time zones. We sought a way to create high-quality information that is optimized for translation and improves the user experience.

Hiring a bevy of editors is not the answer for everyone! At Ciena, we learned to leverage our style guide and terminology throughout the writing process. Following a similar process, you can free up editors’ time for high-level tasks.

In this session attendees will learn:

“Attendees will learn how Ciena is boosting the impact and reach of our terminology and style rules across multiple product lines. In this session, we will focus on Ciena’s approach towards linguistic quality and terminology, leveraging semantic elements when possible:

  • Establishing goals and expectations for the project
  • Defining style guides as the corporate language for Ciena
  • Extracting terms as the basis for a corporate vocabulary
  • Sharing lessons learned in the curation of the terminology
  • Completing the Congree Authoring Server implementation
    -Proof-of-concept phase
    -Admin training sessions
    -User training sessions