The 2019 release of MadCap Flare might contain the buzzword of the future: micro content. They describe it as:
Text, images, video that can be consumed by a reader in about 10-20 seconds.
MCF rightly sees that the demand for micro content is growing; online FAQs, chatbots, augmented reality instructions, call outs, tooltips..a lot comes to mind.
MCF has created a new element for this. You can add phrases to it, so it will be easier to create chatbot content. Imagine you have a micro content element (mce) on Goldfish, then phrases could be: what is the color of a goldfish or what do goldfish eat. It is also possible to drag & drop snippets into a mce. Video files can as well be part of it. Furthermore in the search result mce’s will be at the top of the result list.
Below you see another example in the mce editor. To the right is the content that you can edit. To the left you see a phrase; Where is Gondor; to be used in a FAQ or a chatbot.
But.. there is still space for improvement: MCF micro content does not come with an editor and tables cannot be properly handled. Still..this feature will surely enhance UX.
An interesting podcast on micro content and its use can be found here.
Below a MCF webinar on how to get started with micro congtent.
And the slides to the presentation:
And here a more hands-on webinar from Matthew Ellison. His live demo starts at 20:16. Synonyms are important and it is an extra for the online-help.
In June 2020 he presented his third presentation on micro content. MCF 2020 r2 now offers conditioning on micro content level and you can create customised content. If you have time enjoy and watch.
In this video Ellison goes to great lengths to get his micro content right for a rather small project. He compares it to creating and index. But in a more fanciful way. When you have a source project that has multiple targets, the challenge is even bigger. An approach could be to start with creating simple micro content that shows up at the top of every search result and then move on to some more fanciful micro content. The reason is the complexity of conditioning over multiple targets.