Consulting + Training

Consulting and training

Learning to understand means being able to comprehend.

You need to generate documentation cost-effectively and make it available quickly, with content designed for the latest technology. How we do this:

  • Check existing content
  • Apply options for standardisation
  • Optimise processes
  • Use CMS or DTP software efficiently

 

Experienced specialists and established methods guarantee you the best possible consulting. At Dokuwerk, editorial and translation projects go hand in hand. Benefit from our experience with the associated requirements for systems and processes.

SCHEMA ST4

Enjoy benefits that go beyond a project - our ST4 expertise

SCHEMA ST4 is an established XML-based Content Management System (CMS). We are a Schema partner and have been certified by Schema as a consultant, service provider and translation services provider.

 

We have successfully introduced SCHEMA ST4 in a range of projects. We work with numerous customers on their ST4 installations. We provide ST4 installations for companies that do not have their own content management systems and outsource this service instead. Thanks to our experience and expertise in editing and translation processes, we can provide practical advice and support for the introduction of ST4:

 

  • Data migration

We examine the existing data, check its structure and migrate the content to ST4. If the documents were created with a consistent structure, e.g. using defined paragraph formats, the content can be migrated using mapping. Frequently, this step also lends itself to a thorough revision of the texts.

 

  • System configuration

We perform the basic configuration in ST4 for you. The majority of the work lies not in creating metadata, taxonomies, filters, etc. but in preliminary -analysis: Which configuration best meets your requirements?

 

  • Publication Process

Following creation of the content, SCHEMA ST4 aggregates it into so-called nodes in the form of a project, e.g. for an operating manual. These projects can then be published in various formats, such as PDF, HTML, Word, InDesign, etc. We use the ST4 Page Layout Designer to create the publication processes for you.

 

  • Installation and support as a Schema partner

As a Schema sales partner, we are also a Schema reseller. We handle the entire process for you, from installation to implementation and ongoing support.

 

You can read more about this at: dokuwerk.de/schema.

Document analysis

Precisely identify weaknesses

We examine your documents for classifiable weaknesses, such as:

  • Comprehensibility
  • Consistency of wording
  • Text–image correlation
  • Target-group orientation

The problem typology provides the methodological framework for this. This method, developed by Prof. Schäflein-Armbruster (Furtwangen University), includes an extensive catalogue of typical weaknesses in technical documentation. All aspects are listed and precisely labelled in a systematic way. The result forms the basis for optimisation.

 

Particular attention is paid to conformity with standards and legal requirements for the document. You can find out more in the Standards and guidelines > section

 

If the documentation is extensive, sample extracts are often sufficient to gain a picture of weaknesses and areas for improvement. Thus, our analysis does not need to be complex, but provides you with a good insight into the state of your documentation. You receive the result with explanatory comments and specific suggestions for improvement.

Design

Functional Design – quality requires standards

Functional Design is an established method for technical documentation, developed by Robert Schäflein-Armbruster and Jürgen Muthig. Functional Design provides a procedure to ensure the consistency and economic standardisation of documentation. A central principle of the method is to compose documents from Functional Units and to define these clearly using standard description patterns.

 

Specific application – to meet your requirements

We use Functional Design consistently in our editorial projects. A Dokuwerk-specific style guide supports the application of the method. We develop a functional design for you, tailored to your document types, target audiences, and the systems or tools available at your company. The prepared functional design is documented in a style guide.

 

Style guide

The style guide – a reflection of the editorial process

The rules for using the functional design are recorded in a style guide. A comprehensive style guide is not limited to the use of rules and standards for writing, but illustrates the work of the editorial department.

  • Specifications and processes are explained and illustrated with examples. This introduces editors to structured ways of working and allows new employees to learn the ropes faster.
  • The editorial department’s quality benchmarks are made transparent.
  • The style guide describes the application of a content management system and explains how to use the editor, data-pool structure, etc.

 

The style guide is thus a key tool for introducing efficient working methods and reducing costs.

Graphic design guidelines

Standardised graphic production

Generally, when a content management system is introduced, standards are developed for text content. Text production is supported with authoring systems and style guides. The graphic design guideline is the counterpart to this for images. It provides support with image production, results in a standardised appearance and supports the reuse of graphics. The graphic design guideline is often a component of the style guide.

 

Typically, the graphic design guideline contains the following specifications, among others:

  • Graphic format
  • Resolution (relative and absolute)
  • Colour space
  • Line widths
  • Size of the white space around the picture object
  • Scale
  • Views (front, side, spatial)
  • Tool for graphics processing
  • Naming conventions
  • Compression method
  • Creation process

 

As well as these formal definitions, a graphic design guideline also contains functional requirements as specified in the functional design:

  • Intended use of the graphic: inventory, instruction, result
  • Use of magnifying glasses
  • Handling of symbols and pictograms
  • Use of arrows and other stylistic devices

 

With our expertise in graphic design, we help you develop a graphic design guideline that meets your needs.

Standards + guidelines

Conformity that never fails

When bringing their products to market, manufacturers need to observe a host of national and international guidelines and standards. These are also relevant for technical documentation.

 

Minimise liability risks by checking documents

No matter how careful the design, residual risks still frequently arise when handling a product. Operating manuals, instructions for use, installation instructions and the like must name such potential risks clearly and understandably and describe measures for avoiding danger. The aim is to exclude a risk of liability as far as possible.

 

We check your documentation:

  • Which requirements are relevant?
  • Which product-specific guidelines and standards are taken into account?
  • Which residual risks were determined according to the risk assessment?
  • How are the risks highlighted, treated and portrayed in the instructions?

You receive sound feedback with specific suggestions for improvement. This check is normally accompanied by a thorough analysis of the documentation.

Modularisation + “smart” navigation

Smartphones require topics

With the increasing prevalence of documentation on smartphones and tablets, the requirements for modularisation of content need to be extended. Until now, modularisation was primarily understood to mean separating the content into reusable units. If this “modules” are created in a topic-oriented manner, the content forms meaningful self-contained units.

 

Our smart concept

We have developed a modularisation concept that takes account of these requirements for sensible granularity of the content and the options that a content management system provides, e.g. in the form of

  • Fragments
  • Filters
  • Taxonomies, etc. 

If instructions are to be displayed adequately on small screens, such as smartphones, the requirements need to be even more precise. In order to adequately display longer action sequences, these need to be separated into individual steps. The popular method of summarising data in extensive tables also needs to be checked for feasibility and alternatives considered.

 

A navigation concept links fragmented content so that users are not disoriented even on a smaller screen.

Training + coaching

Introducing SCHEMA ST4

A content management system is only as good as the structures and workflows in which it is embedded. A methodical introduction is therefore essential. In order to fully exploit the efficiency and potential savings offered by a content management system, the existing information structures and processes must be coordinated with the system being introduced.

  

We offer a succession of workshops and training sessions based on the Functional Design approach. During these courses, the users are introduced to the new content management system and how to work with it one step at a time. Typical topics are:

  • Secure and efficient use of the system functions and (XML) editor, content management and the publication mechanisms
  • Standardised creation of content based on a style guide
  • Adhering to the specifications of the data model
  • Workflows and release mechanisms
  • Splitting the content into modules (topics)
  • Taking advantage effectively of options for reuse (fragments, filters, variables, etc.)
  • System-based quality assurance with Schematron
  • Editing and translation processes
  • Using special functions (e.g. Callout Designer, Page Layout Designer, etc.)

 

Training + coaching

Various forms of implementation are possible and have been tested:

  • We prepare the training sessions and create training documents.
  • We can fill the system with initial content.
  • We create the sample documents.

Experienced consultants and technical editors hold the training on site. Following introduction, they are available as coaches.