A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Design>Information Design

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Grokker, o la Navegación Visual

La aparición de navegadores cada vez más visuales y mejor estructurados como Vivísimo, Grokker o TouchGraph está empezando a agitar un mundo que parecía estático. Pparece que el referente en este campo está aún más allá del horizonte, pero cada día estamos más cerca.

Dursteler, Juan Carlos. InfoVis (2004). (Spanish) Articles>Information Design>Software


A Grounded Theory Model of On-Duty Critical Care Nurses' Information Behavior: The Patient-Chart Cycle of Informative Interactions    (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Critical care nurses' work is rich in informative interactions. Although there have been post-hoc self report studies of nurses' information seeking, there have been no observational studies of the patterns of their on-duty information behavior. This paper seeks to address this issue.

McKnight, Michelynn. Journal of Documentation (2007). Articles>Information Design>Scientific Communication>Biomedical


La Guerra

La guerra, como las demás actividades humanas, es susceptible también de ser motivo de la visualización así como de usarla para sus propios fines. En este artículo vemos algunos ejemplos.

Dursteler, Juan Carlos. InfoVis (2003). (Spanish) Design>Information Design>Technical Illustration


Guide Site Visitors Forward to the Next Page

All too often web pages, even home pages, provide readers with a variety of choices, but don't really provide a clear way forward. This is particularly true when a site has multiple products or services to sell. But this lack of direction is also evident on some sites which have just a single offering.

Usborne, Nick. Excess Voice (2007). Design>Web Design>Information Design


The Guide to Effective Illustration: Images for Presentation and Publication

An important part of modern communication is the use of images, both with oral presentations and in publications, to convey the essence of the author's message. As the methods of preparing, transmitting, and presenting images proliferate, we are all challenged to make the best use possible of each imaging technology.

Walworth, Vivian, Mary McCann, John McCann and Louis Rosenblum. Society for Imaging Science and Technology, The (1999). Books>Information Design>Graphic Design>Technical Illustration


Half-Way DITA: Why Some is Better Than None

If DITA seems like a good idea, but you cannot make the case for it, you can move towards structured writing and make your documentation “future-proof” by meeting the standard half-way. At the company I work for, we tech writers created manuals in parallel, but separate to online help. Over time, this gave us a documentation set that was inconsistent in places and hard to maintain to boot. Topic-based authoring which reuses topics in print and online can fix that, of course.

Weber, Kai. Kai's Tech Writing Blog (2012). Articles>Information Design>DITA


Hand-Crafting Prototypes in Visio

If you are the happy owner of a tablet computer or a pen tablet you can hand-draw prototypes on your computer. In this article we'll look at what hand-sketching is good for and how to built hand-drawn prototypes in Visio.

Olsen, Henrik. GUUUI (2006). Design>Information Design>User Experience>Visio


Heading Navigation in Web Browsers

All screen readers that I know of have keyboard shortcuts that allow the user to navigate within a web page by jumping from heading to heading. This can really speed things up when you want to skip to a particular section of a page.

456 Berea Street (2010). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Web Browsers


Helping People Find the Content They Want

Enabling people to find the specific information they require amongst the hundreds and thousands of other pieces of content available on a site can be a difficult task.

Barker, Iain. Step Two (2005). Articles>Web Design>Information Design


Here Be Content

I have always liked the idea of medieval mapmakers using the phrase "Here Be Dragons" to denote unexplored or dangerous territories. Sticking a fire-breathing reptile in documentation when you run out of facts? That’s panache. These days, people aren’t so stylish. When an information architect (or user experience designer) doesn’t have the time (or the talent) to document content requirements, they stick a "page stack" on their site map.

Rach, Melissa. Brain Traffic (2009). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Sitemaps


"Here, Just Stick this Document on the Web": Planning Usable Web Documents   (PDF)

Drawn by the lure of being 'on the Web' and wanting a quick Web presence, corporate clients increasingly ask information developers to take an existing paper document and 'just stick it on the Web.' This request may arise without considering whether the Web is appropriate, whether the document can or will be used in this medium, or whether the target audience even has Web access! If you’re the information developer asked to turn existing information into a Web document, take comfort: your careful analysis and preparation can make the result a usable Web site, not just an information dump.

Collins, William L., Elinor L. Knodel and Michael V. Mahoney. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Information Design>Web Design


Here's Another Reason Why Metadata Matters

Metadata is now both a competitive advantage and a competitive necessity. And if we really want content to be found and audiences to be served and apps and revenue to be created, we'll give metadata — annoying as it may be — the attention it deserves.

Slocum, Mac. O'Reilly and Associates (2011). Articles>Information Design>Metadata


Het Managen van “Schulden”

Een veelvoorkomend aspect van content management werk binnen uw CMS dat tóch vaak over het hoofd wordt gezien, kan worden omschreven als het managen van schulden, oftewel “managing debt”. Taken binnen het CMS die worden uitgevoerd op een “goed-genoeg-voor-nu” manier, in plaats van op een hele goede (slimme, efficiënte) manier, vergroten uw “schuld”. Dit komt omdat deze aanpak later extra correcties vereist en onderhoud tot een lastige, tijdrovende taak maakt.

Crossphase (2010). (Dutch) Articles>Content Management>Information Design>Planning


Hey, Hey, IA!

What's this Hey Hey IA thing all about? Well, it's a resource-hub for Information Architects. Created to serve fellow IAs, I'm hoping the community will support this site and send along information on good books, sites, events, lists, etc.

Hey, Hey, IA. Resources>Information Design


The Hidden Cost of DITA   (PDF)   (members only)

Many people see DITA architecture as a shortcut to avoiding content modeling. O'Keefe warns readers against this mistake.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. Intercom (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Review: The Hidden History of Information Management

What strategies has society employed to collect, manage, and store information, even with the constant threat of oversupply, and still make this information accessible and meaningful to people over time?

Goodman, Bob. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Reviews>Information Design>History


Hidden Information for All to See

While it takes special forensic tools to access most of the hidden information in computers, some of it is in plain view and can be seen without forensic tools. This article is about one of the 'plain view' instances: information Microsoft Word saves about you, your company, and the topic you are writing about, all of which can be seen by anyone who has access to your document.

Molisani, Jacki. Indus (2006). Articles>Information Design>Privacy>Microsoft Word


Hierarchies in Online Information: Balancing Depth and Breadth   (PDF)

Hart explains how understanding hierarchies--the order in which information is grouped--can help you choose an appropriate balance between the depth and breadth of your online information.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Intercom (2007). Articles>Information Design>Web Design>Online


The High Cost of Not Finding Information   (members only)

In an increasingly information-based world, we turn out complex products that are less tangible than they are knowledge-based. The very complexity of the decisions we make and the products we manufacture makes it impossible to check, test and retest them adequately enough to be sure that they will function properly in any circumstance. Information disasters are a growing threat, and one that few businesses can ignore.

Feldman, Susan. KMworld (2004). Articles>Knowledge Management>Information Design>Search


An History of Outlining (and STOP)

The STOP teams brilliant practical approach to outlining also looks forward to a number of activities that have become more convenient thanks to electronic outlining software--collaborative work on organization, visual display of a verbal structure, an iterative process of research, outlining, and drafting focused on the same document, and the large organizations need for standard templates defining the structure of generic modules. In these ways, the STOP team are forerunners for practices that even today are avant garde.

Price, Jonathan R. DITA Users (1999). Articles>Information Design>Methods>History


How Do You Manage Your RSS Feeds?

Some feeds are only skim worthy, while others I read word-for-word. Still, 90 feeds is really more than I can realistically keep up with. The question of which feeds to unsubscribe from plagues me. How long does one subscribe to a feed before deciding it's not worthwhile?

Loring, Sheila. Scriptorium (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML>RSS


How Does E-Commerce Work?   (PDF)

This paper explains what e-commerce is and the two different types of e-commerce. The advantages of e-commerce are covered along with the steps needed to setup e-commerce. The different forms of advertising over the internet is covered next. How internet security works is covered in detail including the use of digital certificates and SSL (secure sockets layer). The processing of payments over the internet is the last subject covered including the different ways to pay and how credit card transactions are processed.

Wokosin, Linda. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Information Design


How Does the Internet Work?

This article covers the underlying technologies that power the World Wide Web: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML); Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP); Domain Name System (DNS); Web servers and web browsers; Static and dynamic content.

Lane, Jonathan. Opera (2008). Articles>Information Design>Online


How Google Manages its Home Page

An average person can deal with only 7-10 choices on a web page, according to Google research. That's why it's so hard to get a link on the Google home page.

McGovern, Gerry. New Thinking (2005). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Usability


How Long Should a Web Page Be?

Business owners frequently ask our web content writers, “How long should a web page be?” The answer is, it depends. Short web pages allow the majority of material to be above the fold, allowing website visitors to click on relevant links to drill down for additional details. Long web pages provide a steady flow of information, eliminating the need for website visitors to click links.

Sloboda, Rick. Webcopyplus (2009). Articles>Editing>Information Design



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