How are content recommendations and related topics implemented in IT documentation portals with DITA?

Implementing content recommendations and related topics in IT documentation portals with DITA can greatly enhance the user experience, making it easier for users to discover relevant information. These features help users find not only the information they seek but also related content that can provide a more comprehensive understanding. Here’s how these features are implemented:

Content Recommendations

Content recommendations in DITA are typically implemented using algorithms that analyze the content users are currently viewing and suggest related topics. For example, if a user is reading about a specific software feature, content recommendation algorithms can suggest other topics related to that feature, such as user guides, troubleshooting procedures, or FAQs. To implement content recommendations, DITA systems often employ metadata and semantic tagging to identify the relationships between topics. This allows for intelligent content suggestions based on the user’s context, enhancing the user’s navigation and comprehension.

Related Topics

Related topics provide users with links to additional information that is directly relevant to the content they are currently viewing. These links are manually curated or generated through metadata associations. For instance, if a user is reading a hardware manual for a specific model, related topics may include links to maintenance guides, spare parts lists, or product specifications. DITA’s structured format allows for easy inclusion of related topics, improving the user’s ability to explore and access comprehensive knowledge within the documentation portal.


Here’s an example of how content recommendations and related topics can be implemented in DITA for an IT documentation portal:

<topic id="software-feature-x">
  <title>Software Feature X</title>
    <p>Learn about the powerful features of Software X and how to use them effectively.</p>
    <p>For more information, you may be interested in the following topics:

<ul> <li><a href="troubleshooting-software-x">Troubleshooting Software X</a></li> <li><a href="user-guide-software-x">User Guide for Software X</a></li> <li><a href="faq-software-x">Frequently Asked Questions about Software X</a></li> </ul> </body> <metadata> <subject>Software Documentation</subject> <related-topics>troubleshooting-software-x user-guide-software-x faq-software-x</related-topics> </metadata>

In this example, content recommendations are provided in the form of related topics, allowing users to access relevant information easily while reading about Software Feature X.