A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Articles>Information Design

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Doing Today's Job with Yesterday's Tools

Where is the software that can help us cope with the massive amounts of information that we deal with on a daily basis? Patrick Dubroy points out the problems with current personal information management, and makes suggestions about how to improve the situation.

Dubroy, Patrick. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Information Design


Drinking or Drowning in the Information Confluence

Data given context is information, and information put to use is knowledge. With that definition, the idea that more and better access to all forms of information does not necessarily mean we are getting more and better knowledge to help us through our daily lives. With real knowledge as the goal, independent information sources need to be united to provide better comprehension of the world around us. Knowledge that instills a higher level of organization and understanding of topics relevant to our lives is the ultimate goal. It’s not the quantity of information, but the quality of the knowledge that we need.

Mashstream (2007). Articles>Knowledge Management>Information Design


DTD Tutorial

DTD is described in XML 1.0 standard. In this tutorial basic DTD features are demonstrated on many examples.

Nic, Miloslav. Zvon (2000). Articles>Information Design>XML


DTD Tutorial

DTD está descrito en XML 1.0 standard. En este tutorial se muestran las características básicas de una DTD a través de ejemplos.

Nic, Miloslav. Zvon (2000). (Spanish) Articles>Information Design>XML


Dublin Core Conference Summary 2003

What is Dublin Core? And why would you need a whole conference about it? The end of September and beginning of October brought representatives from various countries around the world to a sunny and warm Seattle, Washington, host of the 2003 Dublin Core Conference.

Gonzales-Chan, Madonnalisa and Sarah Rice. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Information Design>XML>Metadata


Dublin Core Corporate Circles of Interest

The 2002 Dublin Core annual conference and workshop marked the beginning of a new effort by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) to involve members of the corporate world in the evolution and application of the Dublin Core standard. The first meetings of two DCMI Circles of Interest were held on Monday, October 14, 2002, followed the next day by a panel session with several members of the Circles presenting their initial observations and conclusions to the wider conference.

Crandall, Mike. Montague Institute Review (2002). Articles>Information Design>XML>Metadata


DUX—Five Lessons Learned

Normally I would write a traditional conference overview to inform people about the recent Designing for User Experiences conference (DUX) held in San Francisco, June 6-8. Instead, I would like to impart a few of the impressions I came away with and recommend that everyone go to the AIGA Case Study Archive to read the papers that were accepted.

Malone, Erin. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Information Design>User Interface


Dynamic Hypertext: Querying and Linking   (peer-reviewed)

There are many models of hypertext, distinguished by a number of factors such as the underlying semantic data model (link typing and node typing), the degree of dynamic linking in the hypertext, and how dynamism and other behaviours are implemented. This essay examines a particular approach to dynamism in hypertext, based on the degree of similarity between a text passage in a source node and the text of a target node. It reviews work carried out over the past decade in creating systems for markup-based querying and dynamic hypertext, with particular emphasis on a model of dynamic hypertext that computes hypertext links on the fly using queries.

Bodner, Richard and Mark Chignell. ACM Computing Surveys (1999). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext>Semantic


ECMAScript for XML (E4X): A Simpler Programming Model

Developing software to create, navigate and manipulate XML data has become a significant part of almost every developer's job. Developers are inundated with a wide variety of data encoded in XML, including web pages, web services, deployment descriptors, configuration files, project make files and a variety of XML vocabularies for vertical industries (from purchase orders to target lists).

Schneider, John. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>JavaScript


Edit XML Documents with Emacs and nXML

The nXML mode for GNU Emacs provides a powerful environment for creating valid XML documents.

O'Reilly and Associates (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML


Editing Forms in Acrobat 6   (PDF)

The Form tool as we know has been abandoned. There is now a Field tool which is subdivided into tools for the individual field types.

Wyss, Max. PDFzone (2004). Articles>Information Design>Forms>Adobe Acrobat


Educating the Information Architect

The good news is that the job market for information architects is exploding. Searches on sites like Monster.com regularly turn up 200 to 300 postings for "information architects." From consulting firms like Argus and Scient to e-businesses like LookSmart to Fortune 500's like Cisco, everyone is desperately seeking information architects. The bad news is that there's no established educational degree program geared specifically to meet the needs of aspiring information architects.

Morville, Peter. Argus Center (2000). Articles>Education>Information Design


Education for Librarianship and Information Studies: Fit for Purpose?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

As this issue of the journal goes to press, the Europe-wide professional bodies representing the Schools of Librarianship and Information Studies (EUCLID -- The European Association for Library and Information Education and Research) and the Library Associations (EBLIDA -- the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations) will be meeting together for the rst time since they were both founded some 15 years ago. The meeting is intended to focus on the effects of profound social changes related to digitization, multiculturalism and the growth of the knowledge economy.

Johnson, Ian M. Information Development (2007). Articles>Education>Information Design


Effective Data Filtering

This article discusses writing software that helps the user effectively work with large amounts of data. The approach that I will describe is called filtering.

Rowe, Robert. VBMySQL.com (2004). Articles>Information Design>Databases


Effective Search Engine Submission Strategies

Now that you've got a website it's time to start thinking about promoting it. Search engine listings are the number one way to generate traffic to your website.

stevenforsyth.com (2005). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Search Engine Optimization


The Effects of Headings in Information Mapping on Search Speed and Evaluation of a Brief Health Education Text   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The accessibility of written information becomes an increasingly relevant issue in today's information-dense society. Although headings are generally known to signal textual content and thus aid access, it remains unclear how frequently headings should be used for optimal document use. Information Mapping© is a text writing method that systematically splits up text in chunks accompanied by headings. The present paper presents a study in which a print health education document was varied systematically in accordance with the Information Mapping method, to examine the effects of heading frequency and information order on participants' search speed and their evaluation of the text layout. Results showed that the presence of headings in a text indeed contributed to easier access in the search tasks. Although no differences in search speed were found with varying numbers of headings in the text, some subjective opinions were in favour of the version with most headings. The different information order of the Information Mapping text had no effect.

Kools, Marieke, Robert A.C. Ruiter and Margaretha W.J. van de Wiel. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Document Design>Information Design>Scientific Communication


Efficient XML Encoding Town Hall

Binary XML has been a controversial and hotly debated topic in the XML community for many years. The XML 1.x syntax is very flexible and provides a common information representation for a vast array of systems. The XML marketplace has generated a seemingly endless collection of low cost, high quality, rapidly evolving technologies that make creating, sharing, manipulating, securing and accessing information easier. Systems that have adopted XML are cashing in on the economic and interoperability benefits of the XML marketplace. Some believe the introduction of a second, more efficient encoding for XML information would drastically reduce or destroy the flexibility or interoperability benefits of XML.

Rollman, Rich and John Schneider. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Government>XML


The Electric XML Acid Test

This will be the story of my life from the time my boss came to me and said, 'Hey, maybe we could do that Knowledge Base in XML. I hear good things about that XML,' to the time that I figured out everything I needed to know and deployed a fully functional XML knowledge base to the world.

Robotti, Anne. KeyContent.org (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML


Electronic Publishing of Scientific Manuscripts

To write a chapter about a topic which is so new and developing so rapidly that changes take place just about everyday is an interesting challenge. What I hope to accomplish in these few pages is to explain what electronic publishing is and explore a number of issues associated with this new area of information dissemination. Yes!, this is a new area of dissemination! And perhaps this is the place to start - by defining electronic publishing. Electronic publishing is a new form of communication. Electronic publishing, for the purposes of scholarly scientific presentation of results, is the creation of a scholarly work which is in a totally electronic (non-paper) form from its creation to its publication or dissemination. An electronic journal is a product that was specifically developed and designed for the Internet, a product which is not re-worked printed material that is delivered electronically. As I hope to show in this chapter, electronic journals and electronic publishing is much more than an alternat

Heller, Stephen R. hellers.com. Articles>Scientific Communication>Information Design


The Elements of User Experience   (PDF)

The Web was originally conceived as a hypertextual information space; but the development of increasingly sophisticated front- and back-end technologies has fostered its use as a remote software interface.

Garrett, Jesse James. JJG.net (2002). Articles>Information Design>User Experience>Web Design


Elitism in the Stories of U.S. Art Museums   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Institutions familiar to the public are defined by master narratives that describe their activities and imply who is invited to take part. For art museums in this country, a master narrative of elitism was established in the last century, when museums organized and began building their collections. Because art museums were designed by the rich and subsequently forced to depend on the rich for financial support, the stories of elitism and exclusion have been perpetuated over the years. Whereas little narratives, or local stories, defining the daily operations of museums do not receive attention, stories of exclusive social events and obscure art exhibitions take prominence and discourage the participation of the general public. With diminished funding for museums and fewer courses devoted to art appreciation in public schools, museums will likely be unable to attract wider audiences to support them, and the master narrative will continue to define museums' image.

David, Carol. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (1999). Articles>Information Design>Instructional Design


Empirical Evaluation of Concept Mapping: A Job Performance Aid for Writers   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The usefulness of concept mapping as a job performance aid for writers of technical documents was examined. Thirty-four writers were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The experimental group received 2 hours of training in the use of concept mapping. Both groups revised the same chapter from a computer manual, and an experienced technical editor blindly evaluated each revision. In part two of the study, revised texts were given to two groups of users. One group received a concept-mapped revision, while the other group received a text revised by a writer who had used conventional revision techniques. Readers' comprehension was tested and compared. Revision time was not significantly different between groups, and the editor's ratings of quality were not different. However, readers' comprehension was significantly higher with the concept-mapped versions. These results suggest that concept mapping is a useful revision tool for writers.

Crandell, Thomas L., Naomi A. Kleid and Candace Soderston. Technical Communication Online (1996). Articles>Information Design>Writing>Assessment


Enabling Mass Customization for your Technical Communication: a Paradigm Shift   (members only)

Today technical communication departments are facing the challenge of producing a continuously increasing volume of technical documentation. Indeed, as companies accelerate the pace of new product launches in response to changing markets and competitive forces, so must the technical authors produce more, and faster, the accompanying documentation for these new products. We also recognize that information users are not a uniform group; they have different product knowledge, different backgrounds and may have different reasons for using a product. As such, they need specific, personalized documentation rather than a standard one-size-fits-all document.

Rombauts, Yves. tekom (2005). Articles>Information Design


Enabling Web Service with Common Information Model

In this article we will introduce the concept of WS-Management and Common Information Model (CIM). By exploring the SOAP message with multiple examples, we will learn how to transfer CIM operations through WS-Management SOAP messages.

Hao, Sun. IBM (2009). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>XML


Endless Possibilities: Norm Walsh on the Changing Nature of Publishing

Why XML documents aren’t a good fit for relational databases, how university professors are creating custom text books for students, and find links to several innovative projects that are demonstrating the power of XML and its cousin XQuery.

Walsh, Norman and Scott Abel. Content Wrangler, The (2009). Articles>Interviews>Information Design>XML



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