Introduction to DITA: Everything You Need to Know

Here's What This Lesson Will Teach You:

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This introductory training lesson covers all your important questions about the basics of DITA. Learn where the standard originated, how it supports content in a modular way, and how it can contribute to top-notch technical content, for both the writer and consumer.

Press play to hear Ryffine’s Content Strategist Micaela Monroe explain the basics of DITA in this easy to understand, step-by-step video. Learn how DITA, or Darwin Information Typing Architecture, provides a set of pre-defined, systematic, and semantic tags required for structured authoring, and defines a set of standards for processing those tags.

Before jumping into the details of DITA—like how it is the only standardized topic-based framework, and is a flavor of XML—the lesson will first explore the concept of structured authoring. One of the building blocks of DITA, structured authoring is a methodology that was initially developed based on research about the human brain. It is a standardized publishing workflow that allows users to define and enforce the organization of information within documents.

Research shows that most customers consume content at the topic level. Not surprisingly, the most common structure in technical documentation is the topic. In topic-based frameworks like DITA, information is logically grouped into smaller pieces of information – like what you might see in a textbook. Topics can be mixed and matched to create targeted information based on customer needs. The topic is an important element of DITA, and one we will spend more time explaining in future training videos.

Did You Know

Originally created by IBM to support their team’s technical content, the DITA standard was donated to the technical communications community in 2004. Enjoy this Introduction to DITA lesson? Register today to get more useful videos like this one, and to understand DITA a little better as you progress through your content creation journey.