Working in DITA will lead to having a large library of content units that has a high potential for reuse across product information as well as business documentation that supports operational effectivity.
As the Technical publications departments plan the move to structured authoring, several concerns arise about how to address the complexity of this ever-growing library of content. Specifically, technical publications staff is concerned about creating taxonomies that improve searchability for:
- Authoring staff so that content can be found quickly, improving the speed at which documentation is assembled and delivered to the customer
- Customers so that they can find the relevant information quickly, speeding accurate completion of their task and generally improving the user experience with documentation products
These challenges have direct, immediate impact on the authoring and content management tools, workflows, custom metadata, and taxonomies to support multiple search criteria.
In this workshop, we approach taxonomy schemes from the standpoint of retrieval and how the user will try to get information or materials. We address both the content authoring user as well as the customer product information user. With the advancement in library automation and sharing of records, user-driven retrieval has become more the norm because search is fundamentally a user activity.
One of the main purposes of this workshop is to avoid one of the main issues that is currently growing: the phenomenon that that is the cloud and tagging. Getting a better picture of how users search and what terms/subjects they use to try to retrieve information is essential for good metadata and taxonomy construction. We look to library science to guide the learning in this course because librarians use metadata to develop a more user-friendly search when patrons use the collection database.
Most content cloud taggers fail to tag content the same way twice and rarely use those tags to find that same content later. Ideally you want to avoid creating a situation where different authors tag similar content differently. Instead, you want to create a well-structured taxonomy complete with guidelines so categorizations will be applied uniformly for the benefit of anyone searching for content in your content management system.
Well-structured, search-oriented taxonomies help with content retrieval. In this workshop we will design an assigned retrieval classification that employs a pattern whereby users can recall material by subject area that employs actual language for searching. In addition, we will construct a subject heading system for assigning structured language retrieval that relates the search to the retrievable codes that uniquely identify documents in the content repository.
At the conclusion of this workshop, learners will have a plan for making the most effective use of their XML authoring and publishing and content management tools and will be able to meet the increasing demands of creating, managing, and distributing content.
Liz Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions, is a serial entrepreneur. She’s founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries. She has worked in high-tech and government sectors, at companies of all different sizes (from startups to huge enterprises). She advocates approaches that directly improve organizational efficiency, productivity, and interoperability. If you ask her, she’ll say she’s happiest when those around her are successful.
In addition, we partner with working reference librarians and library scientists when teaching this workshop.
- Sunnyvale, CA (2016)
- Richmond, VA (2014)
- Jacksonville, FL (2011)
Want to bring this workshop to your team?
This workshop isn't a generic training on metadata and taxonomy. It's a 3-day, in-person, workshop that is specific to you and your unique business requirements, processes, and needs.