adaptive content equals architecture plus process minus reality [noz urbina, lavacon 2013]

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Adaptive content is one of the most powerful and critical concepts of this decade. It is an attempt to address a never-before-seen diversity of content contexts and platforms, as well as sky-high user expectations. We are in an age where our smartphones are already starting to bore us. What were head-spinning miracles of science and technology less than three years ago “lack innovation” today. With customers assimilating new technologies into their lives and resetting expectations at this speed, the pressure to provide innovative, differentiating and strategically significant content experience is higher than ever. New platforms and interface paradigms are just around the corner. Adaptive content promises to help us address these challenges, but it still takes organisations years to adapt themselves. Noz Urbina focuses on how content architecture and process need to be altered for adaptive content, and what to do when reality sets in.


  • Adaptive Content: Architecture Plus Process Minus a Healthy Dose of Reality Noz Urbina Julian Murfitt @nozurbina @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Noz Urbina Consultant/Trainer for Mekon Ltd. Content strategy, Technical Communications 10 years in content and mark-up Author Chairperson for Congility Events ( @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Julian Murfitt CEO & Founder, Mekon Ltd. Experience with publishing, high/tech, manufacturing and aerospace defence businesses Small-to-medium-to-very-large enterprises More understanding = better solutions @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • In a nutshell Were all talking about multi-device, multi-channel delivery Adaptive content is a great answer But its really hard and expensive to do Heres how to do it in a feasible, progressive way @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Steps to adaptive content 1) Audience 2) Modularity 3) Taxonomy 4) Semantic Content Modelling @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • The challenge - The Right List Right content Right format Right language Right time @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Reality time Achieving multichannel delivery is time consuming and complex It can be a long, multiphase journey Some authors struggle badly to adapt It affects all of your editorial and publishing processes directly or indirectly @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Responsive Design Adaptive Design Embedded UA Adaptive Content DEFINING OUR TERMS @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Responsive design All content is delivered. Appearance, layouts and features are adjusted for device client-side @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Adaptive design Device and other context is detected, then server-side logic sends only appropriate layouts & features LinkedIn @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • App Mobile Site LinkedIn @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Because they never wanted a manual in the first place! EMBEDDED USER ASSISTANCE @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • eUA Brings the manual content to the user ...Delivers help content directly inside hardware or software user interfaces ...At the location and time its most relevant. @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • eUA, EmHelp, UAP, mini-help Terminology seems to be evolving Integral part of the application Still owned by the authors Minimalism is King Limited real estate Consumed at a glance (then back to work) Pop-ups are evil(?) Scratching the surface of eUA Its NOT Clippy @nozurbina @LavaCon
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  • AutoCAD @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • AutoCAD @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Benefits of eUA Why is it better than PDF, Tri-pane or Context sensitive Help? Doesnt break user context Proactive in giving help Not waiting for frustrated user Speed Your software or device is to help them do what theyre trying to do Learning tool For users and for you! Monitor their usage of content. Could replace (or at least reuse) from the manual @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Reality time Easier with new applications Mobile devices can have very little space Yet another destination for your content Increased pressure to re-use Writing challenge Minimalism Architecture (maintain right context and make it all fit together) @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • And more... @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • The stuff that the people are actually looking for? BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CONTENT? @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Content and User Experience The more diverse the interaction contexts, the more stretched content will become Square peg, round hole, bad experience @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Adaptive Content Content designed to adapt to multichannel multiformat Can be: Transformed Filtered Because its got: No presentation information! Structure Rich metadata Built-in, in-line semantics @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Adaptive Content Adaptive Content Enables ContextuallyAppropriate Experiences @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Steps 1) Audience 2) Modularity 3) Taxonomy 4) Semantic Content Modelling @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Audience analysis to persona and user stories WHO ARE YOUR USERS? @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Example Customers External Internal Future customer Existing customers Engineers - End users Developers Registered user General public @nozurbina @LavaCon Service/Field/Support Consultants Developers Trainer Authors SMEs Sales Marketing
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Current Situation? Who are you? What is your experience level? What are the physical/environmental conditions What content consumption method are you using? @nozurbina @LavaCon What are you doing? Where are you? What did you do? What version are you using? What language do you prefer?
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling User Stories Im an end user. How do I install the PrintJet2050 on Windows 8? Im a service engineer onsite at St. Heliers Hospital trying to repair an MRI scanner but cant find the answer I need in my iPad documentation. Ive called into a support technician to help. @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Reality time Take time and resource TechComm often not given client access easily @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy MODULARITY & TYPED CONTENT @nozurbina @LavaCon Content Modelling
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Modularity Original Flow New Scenario @nozurbina @LavaCon New Audience New Platform
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Module Types Just to get you started... Concepts Tasks References Glossaries @nozurbina @LavaCon Content Modelling
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Benefits Reuse across deliverables Focus on minimalism increases consumption Easier to manage content for translation Send only changed blocks for review Clear guidelines about what should go in certain types of module @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Reality time Writing for reuse is not easy Writers must collaborate more Ownership is changed @nozurbina @LavaCon Content Modelling
  • TAXONOMY @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Taxonomy Extend labelling systems for modules Document naming conventions Module naming conventions Keyword labels to improve SEO Facetted search Basis for content exchange with other departments/system @nozurbina @LavaCon
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy @nozurbina @LavaCon Taxonomy Content Modelling
  • Audience Modularity Facetted Search @nozurbina @LavaCon Taxonomy Content Modelling
  • Audience Modularity Facetted Search @nozurbina @LavaCon Taxonomy Content Modelling
  • Audience Modularity Taxonomy Content Modelling Personas and Stories to Taxonomy Im a diabetic. What is the meaning of error code 7 on my OneTouch blood glucose meter? Error codes Im a potential customer researching what GPS chipsets meet the XYZ standard? Stages in product development or sales cycle Industry standards Technical specifications @nozurbina @LavaCon