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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Complex products with multiple models and various configuration options require significant content maintenance efforts.

The content has to be written and organized in a way that lets content consumers get only those pieces of content that help them solve a specific problem.

Troubleshooting procedures are not exception. On top of their natural complexity, the checks and outcomes they describe may be applicable only for a certain product model or depend on a certain combination of configuration settings. Reading and understanding these procedures might be a challenge on its own.

What if you’d have a technology that takes a textual troubleshooting procedure, filters out the content irrelevant for the specific product flavor you are dealing with, and automatically generates a flowchart which graphically shows what you need to do? Now, instead of reading, you can watch the same information whose visual representation was changed on-the-fly.

This is exactly what we’ve done for swissQprint, a leading maker of high-end digital printing systems. Their service engineers and factory staff have to deal with highly customizable machines. Because each swissQprint customer gets a custom configuration of the printer, there are no even two printers that would have an identical configuration. In terms of the troubleshooting, it means that troubleshooting procedures are both complex and customer-specific at the same time. They have to match a specific configuration and have to be presented in an easy-to-understand way.

Now swissQprint documentation writers are using the DITAToo Automation Engine to automatically transform a textual troubleshooting procedure into a flowchart. When they publish a manual to their content delivery platform called FluidTopics, they can choose the publishing profile to be applied to the manual, select the language in which the content should be published, and select the option that transforms troubleshooting procedures to flowcharts.

DITAToo DITA CMS filters the content of the troubleshooting procedures based on the publishing profile, generates the flowcharts in the selected languages, and publishes all this content to FluidTopics along with the metadata which now can be used by content consumers for search.

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