What is it?

A series of moving images, typically paired with spoken word, music, or other audio, often for entertainment or educational purposes.

Why is it important?

People turn to video for everything from a quick laugh to learning a new skill. With each passing day it becomes easier to compose and deliver videos, making it a communication form for everyone.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Video"

What is it?

A graphical representation of information that combines text, data visualizations, and images designed to convey the key message in a clear, concise, and enjoyable way.

Why is it important?

In the era of information overload, people want to learn things quickly and effortlessly. Since communicating through pictures is hardwired into our brains, infographics fulfill both conditions.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Infographics"

What is it?

A combination of text, video, audio, and interactive elements designed to convey information and to promote user engagement or interaction.

Why is it important?

Rich media draws the audience closer to the information. It makes content more accessible and increases context, emotional connection, and audience interaction.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Rich Media"

What is it?

The latest version of HTML, the markup language used to structure and present content in pages on the World Wide Web.

Why is it important?

HTML5 is important because it represents a substantial improvement over previous content description languages, including HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.1. In addition, it provides easier integration with and access to many common, but typically difficult, content presentation technologies and techniques.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: HTML5"

What is it?

A directive of the European Parliament and of the Council that applies to machines and manufacturing plants in the European Economic Area (EEA). The purpose of the directive is to promote the free movement of machinery within the Single Market and guarantee a high level of protection for workers and citizens in the European Union.

Why is it important?

Since January 1, 1995 new machines and manufacturing plants may be placed in the European Economic Area (EEA) only if they are compliant with the European Machinery Directive.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: European Machinery Directive"

What is it?

A curated set of vocabulary selected to communicate clearly and simply for a specific purpose. Controlled language is often used when writing for machine translation or for global audiences.

Why is it important?

Controlled language is a critical feature of writing for localization. It is an umbrella term that encompasses several initiatives, including Plain Language, Simplified Technical English, and Caterpillar Fundamental English, among others. Effective controlled language initiatives choose the simplest terms needed to convey meaning, while also restricting grammar, syntax, and verb forms.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Controlled Language"

What is it?

The practice of actively maintaining dictionaries and glossaries focusing on globally accepted technical standards. Technical terms are organized and controlled, with a clear set of guidelines dictating their use.

Why is it important?

Terminology management enables correct and consistent use of terms throughout the writing process or any other effort requiring accurate vocabulary usage.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Terminology Management"

What is it?

Specifications for eLearning training materials, including file formats, hardware and software requirements, query and statement structures, and protocols for tagging, citing, and attributing material. Examples of eLearning and mLearning standards include the former AICC (Aviation Industry CBT Committee), the current SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and the emerging xAPI (the Experience Application Programming Interface).

Why is it important?

By conforming to standards, eLearning content can be created and packaged so as to be shareable across various learning management systems. Standards make eLearning material more available and discoverable, make launch and access more reliable, make tracking and data capture more flexible, and ensure that content is accessible to those with physical or mental challenges

...continue reading "Term of the Week: eLearning and mLearning Standards"

What is it?

Any application that processes XML documents so they can be used by that program or be prepared for use by another program.

Why is it important?

XML is a structured text format. To use XML in technical communication, you need an XML processor for functions such as editing, transforming XML into deliverables, and managing XML in a database.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: XML Processors"

What is it?

Industry-defined file formats for images, video, audio, and other multi-sensory content that can be included as a resource in a structured XML document.

Why is it important?

Media standards provide a consistent technical method for delivering these experiences to a variety of output formats from single-source content (XML). The prominent documentation standards have dedicated elements for referencing media: DocBook has <inlinemediaobject> and <mediaobject> elements; DITA has <image> and <object>; TEI has the <media> element.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Media Standards for XML"