Mit Intelligenten Informationen begeistern

So lautete das Schwerpunktthema der tekom-Frühjahrstagung 2016 in Berlin: „Die Nutzer mit Intelligenter Information begeistern“. Der Keynote-Vortrag von  Prof. Wolfgang Henseler hat das Publikum davon überzeugt, dass um User Experience 4.0 zu erzielen, Produkte und Dienstleistungen “den Menschen befähigen und entlasten müssen, ihn aber nicht entmündigen!”

An beiden Konferenztagen durfte ich den Workshop “Einführung eines DITA-Pilot-Projekts – planen, starten, testen!” moderieren. Vielen Dank an den 50 Teilnehmern fürs Mitmachen und für ihren wertvollen Fragen und Feedback.

Es gab noch mehr aus der DITA-Welt in Berlin. Zum Beispiel: Dr. Sven Leukert von SAP hat die DITA-Spezialisierung und die üblichen Missverständnisse darüber erklärt; Jang Graat hat uns personalisierte Informationen mit Sahnehäubchen serviert.

Standbesucher und FCT-Team

Besucher und Berater am FCT-Messestand

Meine Kollegen von FCT AG, sowie unsere Partner von CCS Solutions haben sich über die Standbesucher in Berlin gefreut und sind schon gespannt auf die Jahrestagung in Stuttgart.

Building a DITA pilot project

The DITA pilots were hard at work again at TCUK. We have discussed what changes may come with the DITA implementation, but also what should stay the same… if done properly, namely the research and planing phase of a documentation project. The four working groups designed personas and use cases for a specific product line, then drafted the documentation outline that formed the basis of their DITA project.


You can see the prezi I used for the first part of the workshop here:

workshop prezi

Click the image to open the Prezi slideshow

Once we had a documentation outline, we started a DITA skeleton project in oXygen XML Editor. It is called a skeleton project, because we started a simple ditamap, just by replicating the outline, without actually creating any topics. We just added symbolic topicref elements and inserted the titles from our outline in navtitle attributes. A skeleton map can even be published for review.

Thus the writers have the entire outline model in the ditamap from the beginning and would be ready to start creating topics and developing the content using the ditamap as guidance, then adding the actual topics to the map in href attributes. This approach can be applied not only to provide orientation while creating new topics and enhancing the model, but also to ensure consistency across documentation sets… at least until fancier project templates are in place.

In case you’d like to try out building a DITA skeleton project, you can download the tutorial as PDF file ico_PDF.

Happy DIT’ing! More entertaining TCUK keepsake from Glasgow coming soon.

Upcoming workshop: Building a DITA pilot project

One more month to go until TCUK 2015 in Glasgow. Have you booked your package yet?

While preparing for the three-hour workshop on Building a DITA pilot project, the sound of bagpipes is bringing Scotland closer, here in Germany. Can’t wait to meet TCUK delegates again and to host another DITA workshop.

You are considering migrating to DITA and would like to see a proof of concept, but don’t know where to start? Bring your laptop to the DITA Pilot workshop and you’ll see how quickly you can get started. We’ll just follow a few steps:
1. Design phase:
– Identify use cases and task analysis
– Outline the information model and its modules
– Set up the project structure

2. Production phase:
– Writing the topics and the map
– Publishing PDF and HTML
– Reviewing

It does not take long to be productive in DITA and to prove its value to your team. Take a running project back to the office with you and turn the DITA business case into reality with a demo for your colleagues.

September 29, 2015, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
The Beardmore Hotel and Conference Centre, Hall: Clyde
TCUK Website:

DITA Pilots, on your marks…

DITA linking best practice at IEn2015

Infomedian of the YearThe three days at Information Energy 2015 in Utrecht have passed too quickly. Everyone seemed to feel at home, the sessions were interactive and fun, speakers and attendants eager to share information and show how they create and publish content in most diverse forms and channels… that’s what makes an infomedian. To round up the experience, apart from teaching a master class and giving a presentation, I had the honor of giving a short interview and being part of the jury in one of the workshops.

The venue also gave it special “energy” – first, Master Classes and presentations at Uni Utrecht, a historical site with classical and retro chambers where the eyes of scientists, professors and artists watched us from old paintings or billboards, followed by workshops at Seats2Meet, a very interesting concept with themed lounges in vintage look.

After the full-day Master Class on the pre-conference day, I also gave a short presentation the next day about DITA Linking Best Practice. We have seen examples and done exercises in the workshop. We have also talked about structured, topic-oriented writing and about DITA architecture: map structure, reuse strategy, authoring environment and publishing pipelines. The presentation afterwards was just the shorthand version of the workshop, but it served to start further discussions. Thank you all for attending! It was great meeting everyone in Utrecht.

Enjoy the prezi and let me know your thoughts:

DITA Linking - prezi

Click the image to open the Prezi slideshow

For the advanced use of keys on topic references, don’t miss the contributions of Gnostyx and Eliot Kimber to the dita-community repository: dita-demo-content-collection

So how are you managing your content linking?

Related posts 😉

DITA Linking Best Practice

Join us (Jang & Magda) for a day’s Master Class on DITA Linking Best Practice at Information Energy 2015

As users of technical information (in a manual, in embedded help or on the web), we use links all the time. Sometimes they lead to the exact topic we need and sometimes we end up running around in a wild goose chase.

So how do you make sure that your users find their information quickly and easily? By setting up the right linking strategy for your product and your business domain. This sounds easier than it might be, as there are various linking strategies and not one of them is the best in all possible situations.

This master class teaches you about the available link management strategies in DITA and gives you a sound basis to decide which strategy works best for your information products.

We’ll explore the various types of linking with hands-on exercises:

  • Element-level linking: linking to graphics, tables, steps, files.
  • Hierarchy linking: links generated by nesting, family collections, sequences.
  • Relationship tables: bidirectional links, uni-directional links, collections.
  • Subject-scheme maps: taxonomy and topic assignment.

Each section starts with a conceptual overview and a set of practical tips and tricks, followed by hands-on work using your own set of DITA topics and maps on your own computer. Each practical session ends with a group session in which you exchange experiences and learn from each other.

After attending this workshop, you will be able to choose a linking strategy that fits your information products like a glove.

Date: June 2, 2015
Time: 10:00 – 16:00
Location: Academiegebouw, Utrecht
Language: English
Costs: €395, including lunch and drinks (Early Bird: €295)

Register for the Master Class “DITA Linking Best Practice

Related links:
Information Energy 2015
JANG Communication

Mit Legos in Stuttgart

Auf dem Weg nach XML-Prag, habe ich versucht meine Artikel-Reihe über die letzten Konferenzen weiter zu schreiben. Ich schreibe diesen Artikel auf Deutsch, weil es gerade um die tekom Jahrestagung 2014 in Stuttgart geht. Ich hatte die Tagung in den vorigen Jahren schon besucht, diesmal aber habe ich meinen ersten Vortrag und einen Workshop auf Deutsch und nacheinander sogar gehalten.

Mein Workshop – Das DITA-Implementierungsprojekt – und der Vortrag – Verstehen Sie DITA-Architektur? – haben erst am dritten Tag stattgefunden. Nichtdestotrotz waren sie gut besucht. Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass die Workshopräume besser isoliert würden und jeder Teilnehmer einen Platz am Tisch hätte, sodass man bei den Übungen mitmachen konnte… So mussten wir Vieles überspringen, aber die Gruppe war trotzdem aktiv und stellte gute Fragen.

DITA Implementierung - Folien

Gleich danach dürfte ich mehr über DITA-Architektur im riesigen Plenum-Raum berichten… was so komisch auf mich wirkte, dass ich fühlte wie mein roter Faden dahinschwindet. Die Blokade war glücklicherweise nicht von Dauer, da gleich in der nechsten Woche habe ich noch einen Vortrag gehalten und es lief alles prima. Für den Teil über DITA-Architektur hatte ich eigentlich ebenso einen Workshop vorgeschlagen, dürfte aber diesmal nur einen Vortrag daraus machen. Vielleicht klappt es mit dem Workshop bei der Jahrestagung 2015 🙂 So würde ich meinem Publikum durch konkreten Beispielen und Übungen beibringen, was ich ihnen noch schulde.

DITA Architektur Folien

Darüberhinaus war ich in Stuttgart zum ersten Mal als Aussteller mit meinem neuen Arbeitgeber PANTOPIX dabei. Wir haben Freunde und Messebesucher eingeladen, mit uns über ihren Datenmodellen zu reden und dabei mit den Lego-Steinen zu spielen. Außer einer Reihe von Firmenlogos, entstanden ein paar einzigartige Objekte aus der Zusammenarbeit der Standbesucher. Danke fürs Mitmachen!

PANTOPIX Legosteine

Implementing DITA – Workshop Flashback TCUK14

Finally catching up with my posts, starting a series of scrapbook-like articles about the events I attended in the past few months. I should be quick, as more events are coming soon…

Brighton Royal Pavilion

September 2014 in Brighton was the first time I attended TCUK. Met some old friends, made some new ones, ate good sushi, attended interesting sessions and I had a great group to work with in the DITA workshop.

The workshop theme was “Implementing DITA – The work beyond the business case”, aiming to briefly present each implementation phase, to understand what the project team would have to go through and what the project plan would look like.

Have you been told that implementing DITA or migrating to a structured authoring environment would take at least two years and a six-digit amount from your budget? That might be true, but you should understand what lies beyond the business case, in order to sustain your team effectively.

Let’s walk through the phases of the DITA implementation project together and see what the project plan contains, what new skills your team requires, which tasks you can prepare in-house, and how DITA tools and architecture can work best for you.

We’ll discuss and practice:

  • the implementation project plan
  • content inventory and analysis
  • information modelling
  • reuse strategy
  • DITA architecture
  • DITA templates
  • changes in the documentation workflow with new team roles

After attending this workshop, you will be ready to present the components of a DITA implementation package to your team. Only after getting their commitment and motivation, you can kick off a successful implementation.

Looking forward to TCUK15, here is my “storified” workshop report. Many thanks to the restless and enthusiastic John Kearney (@JK1440) who live-twitted the event.

Storify: Implementing DITA (Workshop TCUK14)

Click the photo to view the story of “Implementing DITA – The work beyond the business case” on Storify