Robert Desprez’s presentation on preparing content for mobile on June 3, 2017, proved to be informative for technical communication professionals of all background and skill sets. Particularly interesting to the largely tech writing audience was Robert’s view on current trends in mobile use, and how tech writers are responding to this changing platform.
How are tech writers reacting to the mobile trend? Surprisingly, tech writers are slow to embrace the mobile world. Robert shares more about his view through his blog. To summarize, only 24% of tech writers are currently publishing content that is mobile ready. Although the technical communications industry should be enthusiastic about getting content ready for mobile, the reality is that many professionals are not yet ready to fully embrace the idea.
Robert said one factor is because many companies still use old approaches and tools—such as Microsoft Word—to write technical documents, instead of embracing responsive HTML5 and EPub files.
EPub files are a collection of files with an EPub extension. They are many benefits to an EPub file including the fact that it can be viewed online once downloaded. It can also be distributed in various ways including email, cloud service, and iTunes. Optimized presentation can be achieved depending on the device being used.
Mobile-ready content is in great demand with sales of mobile devices eclipsing desktops in 2014. Users are seeking them for their speed, convenience, and adaptability.
Robert offered a few interactive exercises for the audience to analyze and improve sample content for mobile. By the end of his presentation, the audience gained an understanding of new authoring tools as well as best practices for mobile: brevity (using action content and bullets), language and formatting (using active voice, simple verb tenses, and consistency), and graphics (using thumbnail graphics).
To learn more about Robert and read his blogs, visit his website.
Amy Takeda has a Bachelor of Business degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is completing the technical writing certificate program at BCIT. She plans to specialize in technical documentation for the business, technology, and industrial sectors.