Ryan Minaker

Ryan Minaker helps people use best practices and technology to create great content, improve processes, and enhance user experiences. Ryan is also currently aspiring to be the next Bubble Bobble world record holder.

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LavaCon 2015: Video Game Lessons for Content & UX

I have a tendency to sign up for anything with the words ‘video game’ in the title. This session was no different; however, what was surprisingly different was that I never expected to grasp that there is a direct relationship between the content strategy and UX for tax software and a few of my favorite video games. Continue reading ...

DITA for Print

Book Review: Get “DITA for Print” Before You Start Customizing

I picked up my signed copy of DITA for Print: A DITA Open Toolkit Workbook at LavaCon 2013. After flipping through a few chapters, I quickly realized that I would have saved an enormous amount of time and frustration if I had had Leigh White’s book before I struggled through figuring this process out on my own, as such, I decided to start over again from scratch and do things right. Continue reading ...

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Translation Headaches Cured: Best Practices for the Buyers of Translations

Canada imposes a legal requirement to deliver content in two official languages (in most cases). As such, translating content from Canadian English to Canadian French has been part of most product development lifecycles for the majority of my career. In this session, I learned something that has changed my perception of translation outsourcing. Continue reading ...

review content strategy connecting the dots

Book Review: Content Strategy Connecting the Dots for an Epic Win

I have a habit of relating most things in my life to video games and board games (some people call this gamification). I find that this way of thinking is especially relevant on a professional level. My quest—as someone who produces and manages content within a content lifecycle—is to overcome obstacles, to complete these tasks, and to achieve my epic win. Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots is the strategy guide that gets me closer to the epic win. Continue reading ...

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Book Review: Content Strategy 101 by Sarah O’Keefe and Alan Pringle

Sarah S. O’Keefe and Alan S. Pringle of Scriptorium Publishing tried a fascinating experiment in putting together their latest book, “Content Strategy 101.” They crowd-sourced the development, seeking commentary, feedback on the structure and content, and reviews from a wide range of content and technical communication professionals via the contentstrategy101.com website. Jacquie Samuels, a content strategy veteran, and Roger Renteria, a graduate of tech comm studies read the book at the website and offer their perspectives in this “mini-crowd-sourced” review. Continue reading ...

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Technical Writing Basic Conundrum: Can Less Really Be More?

Technical writers should provide as much documentation as is required for a user to use a product to its fullest potential; and that documentation should be delivered in way that is usable and easily accessible to the user. This seems pretty straightforward, but why is it that so many companies still fail to do this; still fail to take their documentation seriously; still fail to adequately resource technical writing staff? Continue reading ...