November 24, 2015

Event report

Why do we need a style guide?

Holger Thater, Per Harbo Sørensen and Dorte Breitenstein Kristensen

Do you already have a style guide and need some inspiration on how others do it? Or you don't have a style guide and no clue, how to start creating one? Or you don't see the need for having one?

tekom Danmark event about style guides

Thanks to Leica Geosystems Technology A/S for sponsoring this event.

See the full agenda here: Opens internal link in new windowLink to agenda

Welcome and News from Tekom – Per Harbo Sørensen

Per informed about coming events and news from Tekom Danmark and Tekom Europe.

tekom Denmark

Cooperative Agreement with Aarhus University

  • Presentation of scientific work and theses in articles on websites, in the international tekom magazine (tcworld magazine), and on LinkedIn.
  • Logo on website with link to websites.
  • One common event per year.
  • One yearly presentation of tekom Danmark for Bachelor and Master students.

 tekom Europe 

  • Webinars: About 10 webinars per year organized by the country groups.
  • Workgroup: TechCOMFrame (Technical Communication Competence Framework). 
  • Workgroup: eDoc – paper versus electronic media.
  • Workgroup. Standards in the field of software documentation.

 Opens internal link in new windowLink to presentation

Style Guide for Sale? – Prof. Sissi Closs

Professor Sissi Closs gave an introduction to style guides and then continued talking about common expectations to style guides, such as a common language, useful reference, save time and effort, make QA easier, and so on. She mentioned that a traditional style guide is often a mix of tools and writing guidelines. It is often difficult to keep the style guide up-to-date and maintaining it is a difficult process, which often has low priority.

Recommendations are that a style guide must be easy to use, easy to access, and dynamic. A way to achieve this is to use topic structures and classifications and make it easy to add topics and adapt topic types as needed. It is also important to remove outdated topics and whole topic layers.  A key success factor is that the style guide “lives”.  A style guide should be a collaborative effort, fun for people to contribute to, and automated as much as possible. You need a guardian for the style guide – someone who cares and takes responsibility.

She showed examples of style guides using for example wikis and a DITA-base tool.

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Case stories from 5 companies

The second part of the event was dedicated to case stories. Participants from 5 companies shared their experiences with style guides. 

KMDDorte Breitenstein KristensenOpens internal link in new windowLink to presentation
LINCO Food Systems A/SMarc HonoréNo presentation available
Danfoss Power Electronics A/SHolger ThaterNo presentation available
Vestas Wind Systems A/SSusanne M. K. DiedrichsenOpens internal link in new windowLink to presentation
DEIF A/SJeanine ShepstoneOpens internal link in new windowLink to presentation