Modernizing user assistance

SAP uses open-source components to make content more usable and visually appealing, and to take user assistance to the next level.

Text by Priscilla Buckley


Modernizing user assistance

Image: @ funstock/

Do you remember when software documentation was delivered in frozen headered and footered PDF books? Or bewildering webs of static HTML pages – the digital equivalent, but still just as static? For most of us, this is still the norm. And in the meantime, our consumers swipe their phones to board airplanes, develop apps on their iPads, and communicate with their refrigerators.

Using DITA, the DITA Open Toolkit, a dash of video and a touch of Javascript, SAP is bringing static product documentation into the amazing world of dynamic user assistance, with interactive image maps, embedded YouTube videos, and tables you can filter and sort, with checkable rows. It may be just a beginning, but it’s a first step toward bringing user assistance into the 21st century.

Visual navigation with image maps

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