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Program Meeting – Mining for Metadata with Survey Monkey

February 7, 2019

This event is over, but you can use the link below to view the presentation.

After making the transition from CHM files to HTML for Rockwell Automation’s flagship software product, the Information Development team noticed that the search functionality in HTML needed improvement. Our team’s technical specialist made some adjustments behind the scenes, but we still needed to refine search results by inserting keywords into topics as metadata.

The major hurdle was finding out which keywords users would enter. How could we get into their heads? We turned to Survey Monkey for a possible solution, and along the way:

  • Discovered one important keyword pitfall to avoid
  • Debated meetings vs surveys
  • Bumped up against a survey limitation
  • Went with a no-peeking approach to idea generation
  • Learned that there is such a thing as too much metadata

Mining for Metadata with Survey Monkey (.pdf)

About the Presenter

Patrick Files is an Information Developer at Rockwell Automation, creating and maintaining online help for Rockwell’s software products. Before joining Rockwell in 2013, Patrick was a technical writer, manager, and project manager at Cisco Systems, working on hardware and software documentation for the wireless networking group. When you next find yourself at Home Depot, Target, or JCPenney, look up: you’ll probably see a wireless LAN device for which Patrick wrote a manual or two.

Patrick also worked for several years in a research lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, measuring the ways in which human pilots fit, almost fit, and do not fit into aircraft cockpits.

Patrick graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and from Wright State University with a Master’s degree in Technical Communication. He enjoys traveling, reading, bicycling, and woodworking. He lives near Youngstown, Ohio, with his wife and two sons.


February 7, 2019
Event Category:


OH United States