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2012 MVP Summit

Attending this year (Feb 27 - Mar 2): Rob Chandler. Char James-Tanny, Dana Worley. Tech lead: Paul O'Rear.


There are no Keynote sessions. None of the main sessions mention much about the upcoming Win 8 and VS 2012. 
Thanks Paul for organizing these great help related session:
  • VS 11 Help - Monday morning  Paul O'Rear, Malcolm Dickson  Take is through the latest VS 11 help system (currently in Beta).
    • HV2 now only touches links. Self branded help is mostly under user control. Gone are complicated transforms.
    • Each book can now have it's own branding package. Default fall-back branding package in runtime folder.
    • Enterprise deployment - Can define their own end point. Registry overrides to force help Offline/Online or fall back to Online/Offline.
  • Help Ideas / Bluesky - Monday arvo Devs Ian Hollier, Gerry, Phil Black, Justin and team demo various ideas for filtering and fall back.
  • Help API - Rob Chandler demos his code examples that exercise the HV 2 API.
  • Windows 8 Help - Wed: Help team for Windows 8 demo Online / Offline help experience.
    • Help experience = Less distractions. Clearer and more intuitive.
    • Run lots of usability tests.
    • No immersive help Experience - ie. No big Help Viewer experience with TOC Index Bookmarks etc. 
    • Most aeas of Windows have (?) icon. Contextual help.
    • Help pane has search only. Vendors and Enterprise can add their help to single area.
    • Metro apps also called "Modern apps". Should be designed for usability not with extensive help. Intuitive and simple.
    • Help Content = "How do I do something" (main help content). Also "How do I fix something".
    • Help 
      • Direct, Clear, Concise.
      • Like writing to a user or friend
      • Links to support or how to (no dead ends).
      • Help should not be lengthy or detailed.
      • Used to clarify confusing User Experience.
    • Classic Vs Metro Help
      • Help can open in Metro Browser or Classic Browser (Configurable).
      • More Video and diagrams added where applicable.
  • Jean Philippe Bagel - Content Publishing Director - alias jpbagel
    • Informal talk with JP on future of interfaces and help.
      • Cool new interfaces for tablet devices - FlipBoard, PhotoMedia, Google Currents
  • Lou Berner and Edd Pine - SQL Server UX
    • Talk about there UX challengers and get our views on there UI ideas.
    • Continuous Publishing
    • Online Help - Data Drive Decision making -- New help links reduce support costs by 9x%
    • Add Help only where help is needed.
  • Thusday
    • Girls headed home. I spend morning & Lunch talking to developers Ian and Gerry, also Jason and Malcolm.
    • Afternoon Paul does Kiosk demos for HV 2. I talk to Bing guy about search problems for MSDN Library. 
    • Also good chat with Jeff on problems of improving help and understanding the our online data.
      • Scoping (relationships of data graphs); Filtering (Meta data/attributes); Search (Data) - Paper in progress.