Big plans take time

I’m procrastinating. I’ve reached a certain point in the work I’m doing that requires the completion of a very large planning spreadsheet. I’m currently looking at all of our content with a view to restructuring it to fit better with the way our customers work hopefully making it easier for people to browse the content. I’m taking an organic approach for this first pass. Taking the chapters in each current guide and rather than forcing them into a pre-existing structure, I’m making an educated guess as to where they might live in the future. Once that is complete I’ll take the list of suggested locations, give them a quick sanity check and mockup some examples and take them to some …

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Challenges

I’m currently in the midst of some thinking. I’m thinking about how we can improve what we do, how we measure those improvements and ultimately how we make a step change in the quality of our output. Oh no, I used that word, didn’t I. Quality. At this point I will veer away from that word, for fear of plunging headlong into the land of metrics, and instead outline some of the things floating around in my head. To improve the perceived quality of the information, there are some things we can do: Improve the navigation Improve the findability of the information Improve the technical accuracy of the information Improve the completeness of the information Navigation and findability are linked …

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Further Webhelp hacking

I mentioned in my previous post that we run a webhelp build of our content (a.k.a. our Knowledge Centre) on our developer community website, and that it was hosted in an iframe. I thought it worthwhile fleshing out the detail of that as it includes a bit of custom code some others might find useful. As our content is locked behind a login, we need to be sure that only people who are logged in can access it. This is achieved by a couple of simple checks. 1. When the Knowledge Centre is loaded, a script runs that checks it has been loaded within the correct iFrame within our website. If it’s not, the user is redirected to the login …

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Selling ourselves

Like many, I struggle at times with a common perception, one which was highlighted to me yesterday by a colleague. Like most team leads/managers, I have a lot of tasks that aren’t purely focussed on the creation of information. I don’t do much technical writing, instead letting the guys in my team focus on that (they are better at it than me anyway) whilst I work around the edges of what they do, things like taking a document through a review with some SMEs and processing the output, or building a new output template, or proof reading some of their work. My team and I have a good idea of what I do, even though I also get dragged into …

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