Information Development in Design, with Scott Abel – Part 1 (A Chat with Cross-Functional Experts)

Did you find an idea, help, or inspiration? Then please share:

Dianna Deeney interviews Scott Abel about information development management, a discipline concerned with best practices for managing and coordinating all activities related to the development, production, and distribution of information. He shares ideas, strategies, and best practices for unifying all product information - technical documentation, product specifications, customer support, training, and on-boarding - in a single online knowledge center.

This is Part 1 of 2 episodes with Scott. In Part 1 (this episode) we talk about information development management. In Part 2 (next episode), we talk about technical communication as part of product design success.

This interview is part of our series, “A Chat with Cross Functional Experts". Our focus is speaking with people that are typically part of a cross-functional team within engineering projects. We discuss their viewpoints and perspectives regarding new products, the values they bring to new product development, and how they're involved and work with product design engineering teammates.

About Scott

Scott Abel serves as Content Strategy Evangelist at Heretto. He also runs a consultancy called The Content Wrangler, which helps companies improve how they author, maintain, manage, and deliver technical product information to those who need it, when, where, and how they prefer it. He writes regularly for content industry publications, produces a series of content strategy-focused books for XML Press, and is a dynamic presenter often featured at content industry events worldwide.

In Part 1, Scott and Dianna talk about:

  • Why technical documentation is more important than it's generally treated: it relates to the success of existing customers, the loyalty of customers to a brand, attracts new customers, and provides confidence to perspective customers.
  • How technical documentation affects regulated products, and why "future fear of noncompliance" is a trap that leads to a loss of information management advancements and their benefits.
  • What object-oriented technical communication management is and COPE (create once, publish everywhere).

What can you do today?

Consider your company's treatment of content. Does it handle content the way that Scott describes?

Is content strategy a living thing for your company?

Do you create content instead of documents?

How can you treat product design information as components and modules?

Scott referenced this book in Part 1:

Rockley, Ann, and Cooper, Charles. Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy. United Kingdom, Pearson Education, 2012.

Managing Enterprise Content - Google Books


Scott's contact information:

email: [email protected]