For the past year and a half, our team here at dominKnow have been asking a lot of really important questions about how authors work with our tool.
Are there ways we can make tasks faster?
Are there ways we can help authors more quickly understand how features work?
Are there ways we can help authors discover features they don’t know about?
And for each of these questions, the answer our team came up was a resounding, “Yes!”
So, a big focus of the team’s work on the Summer 2021 (7.4) release for dominKnow | ONE has been on improving the workflows within the tool, and that’s led to a dramatic number of improvements to the authoring interface.
Here’s an overview of my favorite interface changes.
This is is an absolutely fabulous interface change in the dominKnow | ONE Summer 2021 feature release.
And it’s hard to discuss the new Element Controls without being fairly detailed – they have so much to offer. So, fair warning, I might get a little wordy here!
When you select an element on the stage, you’ll see it bound in a purple box. You’ll also see a set of icon circles. These are the new Element Controls.
Check out this video walkthrough of the element controls on a Tab Set element:
The Element Control icons provide access to a huge range of options. They’re a bit different for different types of elements, but here’s a rundown of the Element Controls on a Tab Set like in the video above.
The first control is the Menu, where you can:
The Edit control (the pencil) takes you into edit mode on the element. In the case of a Tab Set you can select each individual “part” and edit it.
The Container Inspector control is a huge boost for authors, especially on Flow pages.
On this one panel you can add a color background to an Element, set the alignment of the Row and add an image background for the Section all in one place. That’s a lot more straightforward and a huge time savings over selecting each container level in the bread crumb.
The Actions control is another fantastic improvement for authors. It lets you set Actions right from the element, instead of selecting the element and then going to the Interact tab.
The options on the Actions tab are different for different types of elements. For a Tab Set, the default trigger is "When Content is Complete", while for a button the Trigger is "When Clicked". And you can use the See All and More options to access the full range of triggers and actions available in dominKnow | ONE.
The last Element Control is the Help. Every element on a page now has inline help access. The help opens a panel with a preview card of the available help articles integrated from our Community site for that specific Element type. Selecting the card opens the article in a modal window right within dominKnow | ONE, with an option to open it in a new browser window as well.
The Element Controls also provide messaging and prompts authors. The small bubble added to the Help icon in the video above tells the author there’s a Help article they haven’t yet read. Once they read it the bubble goes away – but if a new article is added, the bubble appears again to alert the author.
A bubble on the Container Inspector lets the author know the default Container settings have been changed, and a bubble on the Actions control tells the author an Action has been set. Lastly, the Menu will display an exclamation mark if the element has incomplete Accessibility settings, like an image missing alt text.
I take advantage of the new Element Controls constantly. They save so much time for so many tasks and make it much easier for an author to make sense of how an element is set up. And we’ve found they’ve reduced the steps for many of our Training Guide lessons, for example – which is pretty good proof of their value!
The new Element Controls make a measurable difference in the authoring experience, but they’re tied for first place in my list of favorite authoring interface changes in dominKnow | ONE Summer 2021 (7.4) feature release.
The new Add to Your Page workflow is my other first-place interface win.
As you work in Flow or Claro, you can select the Add to Your Page button, which opens the Add to Your Page Panel:
In Claro, the Add To Your Page panel lets you add elements to the current page. In Flow, it lets you add elements in a new section to the current page.
The Favorites tab lets you save favorite elements that you use often, as well as save Flow Sections or Claro Layers to quickly add to a page, kind of like your own personalized library of templates.
The All Sections tab has access to pretty much all the different elements available in dominKnow | ONE, from text elements to media elements, to components like Tab Sets, to Capture lessons and more.
And the Search tab lets you find content in other Projects and add it to your current page.
In Flow, the Add to Your Page panel is complemented by and integrated with the new bottom bar that helps you quickly add new Sections to your page.
Here are all the details on this new workflow.
Like the Element Controls, the new Add to Your Page workflow is a real time-saver for authors. For example, we’ve found it has reduced steps for many of the lessons in our training guides. And I use it constantly in my own authoring.
In fact, the addition of the new Add to Your Page workflow and the Element Controls have meant that I also now take advantage of the next interface change in almost all of my authoring – turning the Ribbon off.
This new feature is pretty straightforward to explain.
In the upper right or the authoring interface is a toggle switch labelled Ribbon:
I’ll give you three guesses what it does. And the first two guesses don't count!
The toggle lets you control whether or not the full Ribbon interface is shown as you author.
The Ribbon interface has been an important part of our authoring experience since the release of Claro a decade ago. In fact, we licenced the Ribbon design from Microsoft as part of Claro because it was such an effective way to present the authoring options and features.
But over time the feature set in dominKnow | ONE has grown so large that we began to find the Ribbon was sometimes a disadvantage. Adding more features always meant adding more items to the Ribbon tabs and even adding more Tabs. Gradually the Ribbon interface became busier and it was sometimes hard for authors, especially new ones, to discover where features were located.
With the new Add to Your Page workflow and the options available with the Element Controls, many features are now easier to find and even easier to work with. So the importance of the Ribbon is reduced.
I find I work with the Ribbon toggled off almost all the time now when working in the dominKnow | ONE Summer 2021 feature release.
I really appreciate having the increased stage real estate as well as the simpler interface overall. When we updated the dominKnow | ONE training guide lessons, we found we could carry out all of the lessons without ever needing to toggle the Ribbon on. I know new authors will appreciate this option for a simpler and easier authoring experience.
The dominKnow | ONE 7.4 feature release adds some new features for content reviews and adds some new workflows for adding comments while authoring and for viewing and resolving comments.
We’ve had a reviewer feature in our tools for at least 15 years now, predating even our launch of Claro a decade ago.
It has always been a hugely helpful feature – it’s so easy to invite your subject matter experts or stakeholders to review a project and then track all of the comments for completion.
This new release has added some great new options for Reviewing on an updated toolbar above the page.
Reviewers can still add page and element comments, of course. But we have a new panel to help make that happen – and Reviewers can re-locate the panel as they work through pages with different layouts.
Plus they can now view the Tab Focus Order and view Accessibility information to better understand what the page experience will be like for learners using keyboard or screen reader navigation.
And as Reviewers add notes for elements like videos, scenarios, Capture software lessons and components their location in the element is now tracked, such as the time of the video or the step in a Capture lesson.
Authors will also notice a difference when adding their own Comments while working on a Project.
Where we previously had a Reviewer Notes tab below the stage, we now have a Comments button in the upper right corner (which also shows a status for the current page).
And Comments are now tracked on a new Comments sub-tab on the Page panel to the left of the stage. Authors can also easily comment on a comment — and commentors get automatic email updates.
A new Review panel also available in the upper right corner of the interface makes it easier than ever before to add and track Reviewers assigned to a Project, and more.
All of these changes make the Review process so much easier to manage. Here’s our Community site Collection where you can learn about these changes in more detail.
The upper right corner of the Interface has a few other changes as well:
You’ll also see lots of smaller interface changes throughout dominKnow | ONE, as almost every aspect of the tool has been touched by this feature release.
If you’re an experienced dominKnow | ONE author you’ll notice these interface changes the first time you log in to use feature release 7.4. And I know you’ll quickly come to value them as much as I do.
I’m even more excited for the impact these changes will have on new authors in dominKnow | ONE. These interface changes make authoring so much easier now, and they especially shorten the learning curve for new users.
If you haven’t experienced authoring in dominKnow | ONE yet, why not give it a try? You can sign up for a free trial right here.
Instructional Designers in Offices Drinking Coffee (#IDIODC) is a free weekly eLearning video cast and podcast that is Sponsored by dominknow.
Join us live – or later in your favourite app!
See what the fuss is all about!
Check out all these interface changes in our Summer 2021 Feature Release!