Note: This is an historical post. I originally published it in 2009 and am sharing again publicly. – Julie 3/31/2020
In years past, a doc strategy was fairly straightforward: prepare print documents that were either in binders or printed into a book. Then came online help, so both were used. Then PDF was added as an option. For many, that’s as far as capabilities have progressed.
The new reality is that technology is rapidly changing and different methods of access are popping up all the time. Print and PDF, to some degree, are going to fade away. Some sort of online version will endure, but it won’t be what we’re accustomed to.
To wit, here’s yet another example of new technology: bendable, paper-thin screens and mobile device screens that “roll out” to a larger size.
How cool is that? And how will it affect or impact overall documentation strategy? If you’re developing for mobile access, but the screen can enlarge, but is likely still smaller than a desktop screen, how do you design your docs for all?
These are the sorts of questions that will continue to arise. The simple days of print, online help, and PDF are gone. The idea of a “document” may even fade away.
If I were developing a doc strategy today, I would have the following elements, at the very least:
- Use xml and databases to produce content that can be accessed over intranets and the Internet, including portals such as SharePoint
- Design for mobile devices
- Use online forms to set up docs so that they can be directly input to a database
- Use content management strategies to review, design, and write content accordingly
- Set up video libraries (such as YouTube)
- Use Twitter for tech support and to push information and updates to users