Last week (June 1st) I was invited to give a keynote session at NL-DITA. Knowing not that much about DITA I was forced to look at DITA from another angle. I’m familiar with structured writing from a previous life but that’s all. At Xylos we always look at things from the end users perspective and that exactly how I looked at DITA.

Opening with the statement that the paper manuals as we know them today will disappear wrapped-up in plastic in a dark dungeon and eventually end up in the shredder… Let’s face it “Who reads manuals today?” people with lot of time on their hands?

Users don’t have the patience anymore to use manuals when looking for information. So the “Writing business” should come up with other means of delivering information to the end users. Information split into little chunks (Topics), easily to find and easily to understand. Presenting the right information at the time the users needs it that’s key. As stated by Jang Graat in his closing note, instead of “WYSIWYG” we are moving to “What You Get is What You Need” (WYGIWYN).

[slideshare id=8200539&doc=nl-dita2011-110603151914-phpapp01]

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