Adaptive content

Are technical communicators ready to deliver adaptive content, that is “smarter and situation-aware,” as described by this article, “Improve Validation Errors with Adaptive Messages“? In my past experiences, it was a challenge to get my developers to write one really useful error message let alone several that are “adaptive” to the user’s context. Be that as it may, I think that mobile applications almost mandate adaptive content and rich, smart, situation-aware embedded assistance (like validation error messages), because we no longer have online help (and users just do not want online help). Users will always respond more favorably to help that doesn’t feel like help but that just feels like part of the app to begin with. We need to build adaptive embedded assistance into our architectures, into our strategies.

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4 Responses to Adaptive content

  1. Great post, Michelle.

    For some companies, this idea can seem so out of reach.

    At the end of the article, the author mentions a few strategies as a substitute to the idyllic approach. In my experience, writing teams usually focus their efforts on the second strategy in which they collaborate with developers to create proper formatting examples, highlighting required and optional fields, and writing helpful field descriptions. I think that this strategy heads straight into progressive disclosure territory. Do most roads lead back to progressive disclosure?


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