A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Ergonomics of Hypertext Narative: Usability Testing as a Tool for Evaluation and Redesign   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

While usability research concentrates on evaluating informational documents and Web sites, significant insights can be gained from performing usability testing on texts designed for pleasure reading, such as hypertext narratives. This article describes the results of such a test. The results demonstrate that the navigation systems required for such texts can significantly interfere with readers ability to derive value or pleasure from the fiction. The results emphasize the importance of hypertext authors providing more linear paths through texts and of simplifying the navigational apparatus required to read them.

Gee, Kim. Journal of Computer Documentation (2001). Articles>Usability>Hypertext


Escritura Hipertextual

La escritura hipertextual, que tiene como unidad básica el enlace y como soporte lógico el electrónico, se debe realizar de forma diferente a la escritura convencional. A los usuarios no les gusta leer en pantalla, por lo que agradecerán cuanto más les facilitemos dicha tarea. En este artículo se tratará la correcta presentación de contenidos y elementos de interacción (enlaces) en los documentos hipertextuales.

Hassan Montero, Yusef and Francisco Jesus Martin Fernandez. Nosolousabilidad.com (2003). (Spanish) Articles>Writing>Hypertext>Web Design


Evaluating Student-Created Hypertexts: A Map   (peer-reviewed)

In this paper I offer thumbnail sketches for four methods of assessing student work in computer-mediated composition courses.

Whithaus, Carl. Kairos (2001). Articles>Education>Hypertext


Features for the Next Generation of Web Browsers

The future is not what it used to be, especially regarding WWW browsers. They used to come in two flavors: text and Mosaic, but now there is a profusion of choices. Netscape has shown that it is possible to dominate the Internet almost overnight, going from less than one percent to about 70% market share during the last two months of 1994. Such rapid changes may be a unique characteristic of the Internet since most other markets award more permanence and slower erosion of market share to their leaders. On the Internet, news and customer testimonials spread immediately world-wide and 'shelf space' is limited only by the vendor's server capacity and connection bandwidth (indeed, Netscape would probably have spread faster if only people could get through to their FTP site!).

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1995). Articles>Software>Hypertext>Web Browsers


Foreseeing the Future: The Legacy of Vannevar Bush

Fifty years before web, 30 years before the personal computer, Vannevar Bush envisioned a new machine to make sense of the growing mountains of information, creating the notions of 'hypertext' and the modern link.

Malone, Erin. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Fourth-Generation Hypermedia: Some Missing Links for the World-Wide Web

World Wide Web authors must cope in a hypermedia environment analogous to second-generation computing languages, building and managing most hypermedia links using simple anchors and single-step navigation. Following this analogy, sophisticated application environments on the World Wide Web will require third- and fourth-generation hypermedia features. Implementing third- and fourth-generation hypermedia involves designing both high- level hypermedia features and the high-level authoring environments system developers build for authors to specify them. We present a set of high-level hypermedia features including typed nodes and links, link attributes, structure-based query, transclusions, warm and hot links, private and public links, hypermedia access permissions, computed personalized links, external link databases, link update mechanisms, overviews, trails, guided tours, backtracking, and history-based navigation. We ground our discussion in the hypermedia research literature, and illustrate each feature both from existing implementations and a running scenario. We also give some direction for implementing these on the World Wide Web and in other information systems.

Open University, The (1997). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext>Web Design


The Future of Hypertext

In the short term of three to five years, I don't really expect significant changes in the way hypertext is done compared to the currently known systems. Of course new stuff will be invented all the time, but just getting the things we already have in the laboratory out into the world will be more than enough. I expect to see three major changes: the consolidation of the mass market for hypertext; commercial information services on the Internet; the integration of hypertext and other computer facilities.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1995). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Guidelines for Designing Web Navigation   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

As Web sites grow larger and more complex, the challenge of designing effective user navigation increases. We offer designers (as well as those evaluating existing Web sites) a set of 12 guidelines encompassing that attempt to cover the most important and broadly relevant navigation issues. These guidelines are grouped under four topics: (1) Designing an effective link, (2) Managing large numbers of links, (3) Providing orientation information, and (4) Augmenting link-to-link navigation. With each guideline there is an example and a synthesis of the most relevant and compelling research, theory, and expert opinion. These guidelines apply to what can be broadly termed informational Web sites rather than sites for game-players, art sites, and sites intended for whimsy and fun.

Farkas, David K. and Jean B. Farkas. Technical Communication Online (2000). Design>Web Design>Hypertext


Helpful Hyperlinks with JavaScript

There you are happily surfing a web site; you click a link and suddenly find yourself at another site being asked to download a file. What happened there? Annoying, isn’t it? There has to be a better way to indicate to your visitors where a link is going and to what type of file. So, to help solve this little annoyance, I’ve written a bit of JavaScript and CSS that adds pretty little icons after the links—depending on the file extension and location—to indicate to the user the type of document they’re about to load.

Somerville, Toby. SitePoint (2008). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext>JavaScript


Hipertexto y Edición en la "Cultura Digital"   (peer-reviewed)

Desarrolla conceptos básicos de Internet para dirimir nuevas posibilidades para la comunicación, la cultura y la investigación. Estudio realizado por Marta Graupera Sanz.

Graupera Sanz, Marta. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social (1999). (Spanish) Articles>Communication>Cyberculture>Hypertext


How Many Links Are Too Many Links?

To understand how much content effluvia we're subjected to, I wanted to see how many links are on the homepage of popular websites. For example, if I go to the homepage of the Huffington Post, I see 720 links, in one shot. Then click inside to a story and you've nearly doubled that number—it ads up pretty quickly. What about the tech blogs? BoingBoing Gadgets, 514. Gizmodo, 468. Engadget 432, all on one page. And on average, fewer than 1% of the links on news sites and blogs actually point to rich content, 99% are navigation and other article headlines. Aggregation site Techmeme has a whopping 1081 links.

Bilton, Nick. O'Reilly and Associates (2009). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Hypertext


How to Get Links Without Asking

Sending out link requests is a time-consuming business. So wouldn't it be wonderful if other sites linked to you without being asked? Sound impossible? Well, it can be done and here are ten strategies to prove it. Why not start 2006 by making sure you use them?

McGaffin, Ken. Website Tips (2006). Design>Web Design>Hypertext>Search Engine Optimization


Human Information Processing Correlates of Reading Hypertext   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

There are a number of systematic relationships between basic measures of cognitive processing and measures of reading performance. The correlational study reported here demonstrates that these same relationships can be observed in the reading of hypertext. In addition, correlations among spatial processing abilities and performance with hypertext support the idea that spatial and relational processing play important roles in reading and using hypertext.

Wegner, Michael J. and David G. Payne. Technical Communication Online (1996). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Hypertext>Cognitive Psychology


Hyperlinks, Frames and Intellectual Property

This paper is concerned with how the use of hyperlinks and frames to present material from another website may infringe the rights of the originating site.

Hudson, Roger. Usability.com.au (1999). Articles>Intellectual Property>Copyright>Hypertext


Hypermedia as Integration: Recollections, Reflections and Exhortations

Hypermedia and its earlier form, hypertext, refer to the notion of information structured as linked networks, as well as to the building, storing, navigating, and searching of such structures. The talk starts with the observation that integration has always been a goal of hypermedia developers. At first, this took the form of large monolithic link-enhanced environments that included support for text editing, electronic mail, CSCW, software engineering, and project management among other applications. Later, the 'open systems' movement arrived and the meaning of hypermedia integration shifted to connecting existing applications. With the emergence of the World-Wide Web, the world's first broad-based hypermedia system, the dream of integration now extends across sites, networks, media formats, and hardware platforms. Using a current example (extending the Netscape browser to support email management), I argue that this history is not as linear as it seems, in fact the old monolithic agendas seem still to be with us.

Trigg, Randall H. Xerox (1996). Design>Web Design>Hypertext


Hypermedia Research Directions: An Infrastructure Perspective   (peer-reviewed)

This paper offers a perspective on the directions in which hypermedia infrastructure research will move in the next several years. The perspective is based on the authors' experiences and insights from a decade of active participation in this research area. After a review of hypermedia infrastructure research, the paper focuses on two particular threads of such research named 'multiple open services' and 'structural computing'. We believe that these threads show much promise for the future.

Wiil, Uffe K., Peter J. Nürnberg and John J. Leggett. ACM Computing Surveys (1999). Articles>Research>Hypertext


Hypermedia Systems in the New Millennium   (peer-reviewed)

This article revisits three past articles about the implications of hypermedia in the 21st century. Each August, the ACM Journal of Computer Documentation reprints a classic article, book chapter, or report along with several analytical commen- taries and a response by the author of the classic document. In this context, a 'classic' document means one that was published at least five years ago but is no longer in print. It also means one that raises issues of lasting importance to the profession.

Waite, Bob. ACM SIGDOC (2001). Presentations>Information Design>Hypertext


Hypermedia: A Design Philosophy   (peer-reviewed)

Few designers explicitly think about their applications' interrelationships. Designers appear not have a deep enough conceptualization of their domains to identify intuitive relationships and realize the full scope and interconnections within domains. RNA (Relationship-Navigation Analysis) gives designers and developers an analysis tool to think about an information domain in terms of its interrelationships. RNA incorporates a complete taxonomy of generic relationship types that would apply to any application domain.

Bieber, Michael and Joonhee Yoo. ACM Computing Surveys (1999). Design>Information Design>Hypertext



HyperTexas ('hypertext', get it?) is a watering hole for Technical Writers, MS HTML Help, WebHelp, WinHelp Authors and Web Developers looking for late-breaking news on tools and techniques of our craft.

HyperTexas. Organizations>TC>Hypertext


Hypertext   (peer-reviewed)

Linked presentation as we know it today -- a navigation menu, a table of contents, a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) -- suits informational material such as technical manuals, government documents, and most scientific research papers. These presentation formats do little to enhance narrative forms, however. Most discussion of online narrative -- and most experimentation -- has centered on fiction (Coover, 1993, 2000; Minganti, 1996) and literary studies (Landow, 1992; Lavagnino, 1997). Journalism narratives, especially long-form journalism, are overdue for attention.

McAdams, Mindy and Stephanie Berger. Journal of Electronic Publishing (2001). Articles>Publishing>Hypertext>FAQ


Hypertext as a Productivity Tool for Technical Writing   (PDF)

Hypertext is a novel approach to computer-based information management based on associative indexing. The concept in general and the characteristics of typical systems are briefly reviewed. Strategies for applying hypertext techniques to the process of writing a technical document are examined. The way in which hypertext documents are used is discussed, focusing on a commonly encountered problem -- user disorientation within the document. Hypertext-based technical documents are compared and contrasted against their paper-based antecedents.

Lenarcic, John. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext>Technical Writing


Hypertext Functionality   (peer-reviewed)

The Hypertext Functionality field studies techniques for and the impact of supplementing everyday computer applications with hypertext (or hypermedia) functionality (HTF). The HTF approach encourages system developers to think actively about an application's interrelationships, and whether users should access and navigate along these relationships directly. It views hypertext as value-added support functionality. The HTF approach fosters three major areas of research: using HTF to improve personal and organizational effectiveness, HTF and application design,and integrating HTF into applications.

Bieber, Michael, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen and V. Balasubramanian. ACM Computing Surveys (1999). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Hypertext Gardens: Delightful Vistas

The attention of the audience is a writer's most precious possession, and the value of audience attention is seldom more clear than in writing for the Web. The time, care, and expense devoted to creating and promoting a hypertext are lost if readers arrive, glance around, and click elsewhere.

Bernstein, Mark. Eastgate Systems (1998). Design>Information Design>Hypertext


Hypertext in the Computer-Facilitated Writing Class   (peer-reviewed)

The advent of new print-based communication technologies can facilitate the convergence of composition theory and praxis in the computer-assisted composition classroom.

Eyman, Douglas. Kairos (1996). Articles>Education>Hypertext


Hypertext Maps

Hypertext mapping has long challenged writers, and perplexed hypertext system designers. Clear, attractive, and informative maps help readers and writers understand the structure of complex hypertexts. Conversely, in the absence of adequate mapping tools, many writers fall back on simplistic link models like sequential lists and outlines.

Bernstein, Mark. Eastgate Systems (2003). Design>Web Design>Hypertext>Sitemaps



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