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Learn About the myTrailhead Publishing Workflow

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the myTrailhead publishing cycle.
  • Explain what writers can do with Trailmaker Content to format modules and trails.
  • Explain what release managers can do with Trailmaker Release to organize and manage content.

myTrailhead Publishing Cycle

How does the myTrailhead team at Pure Aloe plan to create and publish content? Let's revisit the magazine analogy. A magazine has a staff of writers, editors, designers, and production people who follow a schedule to put out several issues each year. Publishing myTrailhead content works the same way. Contributors with different specialties collaborate in an orderly workflow to plan, create, publish, and maintain the content. Let’s see how Pure Aloe does it. 

Corresponding diagram of the myTrailhead publishing cycle

  1. Create a content plan: The Pure Aloe learning and enablement professional, Romina, maps out the trails and modules and suggests an order of publication for them.
  2. Write the content: Based on Romina’s content plan, the Pure Aloe myTrailhead writer, Cindy, works with her subject matter experts and editor to draft the content and make sure it’s clear and accurate.
  3. Create a release: The Pure Aloe release manager, Marisol, uses Trailmaker to create a release and the list of modules and trails to publish in the release.
  4. Convert the content: When Cindy and her editor and subject matter experts agree that the draft content is final, Cindy uses the Trailmaker Content app to convert the drafts into myTrailhead modules: She pastes the text into Trailmaker Content, formats it, adds graphics and videos, and creates the quizzes.
  5. Add the content to a release: When Cindy is finished converting the modules, she uploads each one to the release that Marisol created. Cindy also stores a copy of each module in a version control system. A VCS is a place to keep the content files at the ready, for whenever the content needs updating.
  6. Confirm the release content: After Cindy uploads the converted modules, Marisol makes sure that the release contains all the content that’s planned for that release.
  7. Preview the content: Cindy, her editor and subject matter experts, and other stakeholders proofread the content and test the quizzes. If they find errors, Cindy can correct them and preview the content again, to make sure that everything is fixed.
  8. Publish the content: When the content is final, Marisol publishes all the content in the release. Woo-hoo!
  9. View the content on myTrailhead: Hemanth and the rest of Pure Aloe’s Trailblazers read the modules, take the quizzes, and earn the badges and points.
  10. Localize the content: The Pure Aloe localization manager works with the translation team and the release manager to get the content translated, previewed, and published.
  11. Maintain the content: Whenever content needs an update, Cindy downloads it from the VCS, uploads it to Trailmaker, makes the changes, and adds the content to a release. From there, the content takes another trip through preview mode before Marisol publishes it.
  12. Archive or restore content: When content goes stale or processes change, the team can remove it from myTrailhead. But archived content isn’t necessarily gone forever. Because Cindy stored the content files in the VCS, she can edit and restore the content to myTrailhead in the future.

Let’s take a look at the key points of the publishing process in more detail.

Writing and Converting Content

Cindy works with her subject matter experts and editor to polish the drafts of her myTrailhead modules and quizzes. They collaborate using a word processor, which makes writing, editing, and commenting on the drafts easy.  

When the drafts are final, it’s time for Cindy to use Trailmaker Content to convert the drafts into modules and trails. She creates each new module in Trailmaker Content and pastes the text from her final drafts into each unit. With the click of a few buttons, she applies text formatting, such as subheadings and italics, and embeds graphics and videos. 

Unit page in Trailmaker Content

Cindy also creates the multiple-choice quiz for each unit in her modules, following the prompts in Trailmaker Content. It’s another easy process of copy and paste from her final drafts. 

Edit Assessment page in Trailmaker Content, showing a quiz question and answers

Trails string together related modules in a tidy format for myTrailhead users to follow. Modules don’t necessarily have to be in a trail. However, when they are, Cindy uses Trailmaker Content to create the trail and to add the modules to it.

Trail page in Trailmaker Content

Creating Badge Art

Cindy knows that once her content is in production on myTrailhead, Trailblazers at Pure Aloe can start reading it, taking the quizzes, and racking up points and badges. The badges that users earn are displayed on their profile page. And that means Cindy needs badge art for her modules. She collaborates with a graphic designer to create a spiffy badge for each new module.

Creating Releases and Adding Content to Them

While Cindy is busy converting her content, Marisol uses Trailmaker Release to create a release. The release contains a list of all the modules and trails that are scheduled to be published.

February release page in Trailmaker Release, showing the trails and modules to be published

When Cindy finishes building her modules and trail, she uses Trailmaker Content to add each one to the release that Marisol created. The two Trailmaker apps work together to make the content available in preview mode.

Viewing Content in Preview Mode

Before Marisol publishes the release, Cindy and her subject matter experts look it over in preview mode on myTrailhead. It’s their chance to catch typos and make any last-minute refinements to the content. Cindy works with Marisol to get the corrections into the content and to verify them in preview mode.

Career Development at Pure Aloe module in preview mode

Checking Release Health

Throughout the publishing flow, Marisol keeps an eye on the release to make sure it’s not missing any pieces. If a module or trail has any sort of issue that can throw a wrench in the works, Marisol can see it in Trailmaker Release. For example, she can see if:

  • A release is missing module content
  • A module is missing unit content
  • A module lacks badge art
  • An illustration is the wrong type of image file
  • An image file is too large

Trailmaker Release, showing issues in the February release

If she sees any issues in the release, Marisol can give Cindy a heads-up. Together, they can resolve the issues and make sure that the release is ready to go in time for the scheduled publication date.

Publishing Content

When Cindy confirms that the content is final and Marisol confirms that the release is ready for publication, Marisol clicks Publish in Trailmaker Release. And poof! The release and its content are now live in production on myTrailhead.

Pure Aloe is well on its way to providing its staff with a rich assortment of myTrailhead content. The content plan is in place, the myTrailhead publication team is going strong, and the Pure Aloe Trailblazers are reaping the benefits. To see how the Pure Aloe team configured myTrailhead to get it all under way, check out the next module, myTrailhead Configuration. 

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