Product Development

Browser Share and Search Engine statistics

I came upon this site ( reading an article about Bing momentarily being ahead of Yahoo! search.  That was interesting enough, but when I checked their homepage, the statistic they lead with (and which apparently is of the most interest to visitors) is the browser share. They also have statistics on specific browser versions, operating systems, and mobile browsers.

Sequenced images for technical communication

Last night Alan Porter explained to STC Austin "Why Tech Writers Shouldn't Be Writers". Much of it focused on the use of comics for technical communication, but not comics in the sense of  "humorous drawings" -- rather, comics as sequential images that tell a story. Most tech writers are painfully aware that their users would rather have a few annotated screenshots than written descriptions and procedures, but that's not a problem so much as a brain-based reality, he argues. Alan pointed out:

Zinepal: On-demand magazine formatting of online documentation

A long-time wish for many of us building and using online documentation is how to grab only the portions we want and have it lay out well for print production, handouts, quick references. A new tool, Zinepal ("magazine pal"), attempts just that: it lets you create your own PDFs -- and even schedule daily rebuilds -- from online content. In an email, Zinepal staff claimed that 1-column layouts would be a quick enhancement, that the easiest way to leverage this tool for documentation is to set up RSS feeds exactly the way you want content to be grouped, and that more integration options are in the works. But as it stands today, it's a compelling example of how to give documentation producers and end users the power to build exactly what they need from online content.

IMIS 15.1 change size of templates

Can we change the size of the content areas? Is the only way to do that is to manually edit the master page?

iDontCParts..... Hey where is the iParts documents that was mentioned at innovations?

I cleared my whole week so I can read the 20-30 white pages regarding iParts I heard about and I can't seem to find it on this website. Is this the wrong website? Sorry please bear with me I just bought my first computer last week and this is my first time on the Information super highway so I am not sure what I am doing..

ASI logo animated cursor

Here, just in time for Innovations, is an animated cursor based on the ASI logo. To install it, copy the asi_pinwheel.ani.txt file to your windows\cursors folder. Take off the .txt extension. In Control Panel / Mouse / Pointers, Browse to this cursor for the "Busy" and "Working in Background" selections. Click Apply and you're done.

May 30, Dallas: Big Design conference (UX)

$50 ($20 w/ student ID), 9:00 to 6:00, May 30, 2009, SMU campus

The Big (D)esign conference is a 1-day blast in Dallas, TX, focusing on convergence among social media, user experience, and code development. It's jointly sponsored by Dallas chapters of the Usability Professional Association, Refresh, and the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). Keynoting will be Norm Cox, one of the UX stars of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

iXtend Partner Program

iXtend logoASI serves a base of 3000+ non-profits through its core iMIS software products. However, there are numerous specialized functionality areas that our core offerings do not and cannot provide quickly enough to meet all needs. Fortunately, ASI has a large community of partners (80+ AiSPs and Authorized Consultants) that are knowledgeable about these diverse needs, and over 30 have already developed proven iMIS add-on applications that are sold separately, either as standalone applications or true extensions. ASI now invites this community of partners to co-develop the next generation of iMIS add-on applications, and it extends this invitation to new developers, be they third-party companies, individuals, or customers.

Linking from one IQA query to another

Looking for input regarding an online member directory for version 15.0.3 (client licensed for Public Views, but not CM). We are trying to utilize IQA & existing public views functionality for a product-based solution. In the default Committee Rosters area of Public Views, there is a page that utilizes an IQA query to display a list of committees in the database. Each of the committees has an orange arrow "link" beside it.

UA2009: Moving documentation into wikis

Another strong theme running through the Software User Assistance 2009 conference was that any Help and documentation not embedded into the interface itself is moving into wikis, as much for their new media support (particularly RSS) as for the compelling efficiencies and benefits of collaborative authoring.

Matthew Smith (CorVel) presented on "Using SharePoint as a User Assistance Platform". SharePoint (aka MOSS) is becoming a platform for portal-based community and collaboration, with its built-in support for fast site development, including custom lists, blogs, wikis, surveys, search, and document version control. He was able to easily publish content from RoboHelp and Captivate directly into SharePoint, and SharePoint's security model was granular enough for him to control who sees what, down to the document and item level. SharePoint became their wiki-plus one-stop-shopping for content, unifying all documentation and support access. His recommendations: