A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Hypertext Reflections   (peer-reviewed)

A discussion of some of the most compelling elements of current hypertext theory. By practicing the theory it preaches, it hopes to explicitly model the theoretical interrogations of the issue.

Palmquist, Mike, Will Hochman, Beth E. Kolko, Emily Golson, Jonathan Alexander, Luann Barnes and Kate Kiefer. Kairos (1997). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Hypertext Technology as a Tool for Computer-Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW)   (PDF)

Because of the nature and complexity of collaborative work, there is currently much interest in examining computer support for team endeavors. Hypertext technology is particularly suited to providing such support. Many current hypertext applications support collaborative endeavors in diverse fields. Rensselaer’s Design Conference Room (DCR) is an Electronic Meeting System facility intended to support mechanical and software engineering design teams. Teams meeting or working in the DCR have access to sophisticated networking and hypertext technologies. Careful study of the processes and products of DCR team will contribute to an understanding of how hypertext (and other computer technologies) can best support team endeavors.

Mings, Susan M. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Ideas for Subtle Hover Effects

It’s time for some fresh hover effect inspiration! Nowadays we are seeing a lot of delicate designs with fine lines, lots of white space, clean typography and subtle effects. With that beautiful trend in mind we want to share some creative ideas for grid item hover effects. It’s all about being subtle with that little delightful surprise. The techniques we are using for these hover effects involve 3D transforms and some pseudo-element transitions. Note that these will only work in modern browsers.

Lou, Mary. Codrops (2014). Design>Web Design>Interaction Design>Hypertext


Image Links vs. Text Links

Years back, we compared successful clickstreams (clickstreams that resulted in users accomplishing their goals, as observed in tons of usability tests) with unsuccessful clickstreams (clickstreams where users abandoned their goals before completing), looking for any clues that would help us predict behaviors in one that we didn’t see in the other. One factor we looked for was whether the clickstreams contained image links versus text links — does one type of link show up more often in successful clickstreams than the other. Our finding was when users clicked in image links they were just as likely to succeed or fail as when the clicked on text links. There was no statistically-meaningful difference.

Spool, Jared M. User Interface Engineering (2006). Articles>Web Design>User Interface>Hypertext


The Impact of Hypertext on Processes of Reading and Writing   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Whether pragmatic or Romantic, the projected benefits of hypertext follow from certain assumptions about how people read or should read. The belief that readers can select for themselves which links in a network to follow rests on the assumption that readers know best what information they need and in what order they should read it. The goal of creating paths for different readers assumes that hypertext designer/writers can predict readersÕ needs well enough to create the "right" set of paths and direct each reader onto the appropriate one. The very notion that hypertext designer/writers can create meaningful, useful networks in the first place depends on a whole range of assumptions about how to divide up and relate parts of texts, including what segments of text constitute meaningful nodes, what types of links are meaningful and important, and what types of texts can or ought to be read non-linearly. In fact, many of these assumptions contradict current thinking in rhetorical theory, cognitive psychology, and document design, where the evidence suggests that, as currently conceived, hypertext may in fact dramatically increase the burdens on both readers and writers. My purpose in this essay is to review relevant educational and psychological research on reading that bears on the problems hypertexts may pose for readers and writers. The purpose of this evaluation is not to accept or dismiss hypertext in principle, but rather to point to specific aspects of reading and writing processes that hypertext designers must consider if they are to serve readers and writers effectively.

Charney, Davida. University of Texas (1994). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>Hypertext


Inappropriate Format][ing][: Craft-Orientation vs. Networked Content[s]   (peer-reviewed)

From the point-of-view of this net.art practitioner-plus-reviewer, it seems evident that various web/net/code artists are more likely to be accepted into an academic reification circuit/traditional art market if they produce works that reflect a traditional craft-worker positioning. This 'craft' orientation [producing skilled/practically inclined output, rather than placing adequate emphasis on the conceptual or ephemeral aspects of a networked, or code/software-based, medium] is embraced and replicated by artists who create finished, marketable, tangible objects; read: work that slots nicely into a capitalistic framework where products/objects are commodified and hence equated with substantiated worth.

Breeze, Mez. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Design>Web Design>Hypertext


Information Management: A Proposal

This proposal concerns the management of general information about accelerators and experiments at CERN. It discusses the problems of loss of information about complex evolving systems and derives a solution based on a distributed hypertext system.

Berners-Lee, Tim. CERN (1989). Articles>Scientific Communication>Hypertext>Information Design


The Information Revolution

Nobody is offering courses in how to prepare hypermedia, nor are there a large number of jobs available for hypermedia authors. As we begin to come up against the limits imposed by the volume of existing knowledge, we will eventually be forced to place more importance on managing our information explosion.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (1988). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Intent as a Factor in Designing the Hypermediated Narrative   (PDF)

The potential for combining images, graphics, video, and sound with traditional text in an interactive environment allowed narrative to move into new areas of expression.

Madej, Krystina. University of Alberta (2003). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext


The Lack of Interactivity and Hypertextuality in Online Media   (peer-reviewed)

The main focus of this article is related to the forms of mediated content that are offered in online space. Two specific aspects of new cyber-textuality are discussed--the notion of hypertextuality and the potential of interactivity. Both characteristics are understood as new challenges that reflect specific communication potentials of the internet. In an empirical sense, the article tries to show the extent these significant forms of mediation are used in online media news. For this reason a comparison between media content in print and online media has been made. The findings reveal the lack of interactivity in practice and explore its diversity as a communication form between media producers and reader. Regarding the hypertextuality, the analysis shows the complexity of this concept, which in the realm of news media online is still maturing.

Oblak, Tanja. International Communication Gazette (2005). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext>Interaction Design


Let Links Be Links

The notion of the web as an application platform has never been more popular. Single-page frameworks like Ember and Angular make it easy to create complex applications that offer richer, more robust experiences than traditional websites can. But this benefit comes at a cost. Ross Penman tells us what we can do about it.

Penman, Ross. List Apart, A (2015). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext


Lifestyles of the Link-Rich Home Pages

Contrast the Dove home page to the Dove site map. Using 5 times as many links, this page gives a real picture of the content of the site. Even with 148 links, it is well designed and organized nicely. It's easy for users to find what is available quickly.

Spool, Jared M. User Interface Engineering (2006). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext


Linear, Moderate Hypertext: The Scrolling Page With Hyperlinked Subheadings Conveys Large-Scale Infomation Structure Better Than Isolated Cards

The 'article' approach is better than the 'card' (or 'topic') approach. Concatenate your hypertext nodes and format the headings relatively, for increased comprehensibility of large amounts of conceptual material. Placing node bodies contiguously enhances visibility of information structure.

Hoffman, Michael. Hypertext Navigation. Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Link Location That Works

Where to put links on a web page? That's a standard dilemma for content writers. Best to establish a policy and make sure all writers on your site follow it. That has an added advantage of standardising the 'look' of your pages.

McAlpine, Rachel. Quality Web Content (2004). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext>Writing


Linking 101   (PDF)

Linking is surely one of the least understood functions of many applications. But if anyone can explain how it works in PageMaker, Illustrator, and FrameMaker, Professor Kvern can.

Kvern, Olav Martin. Adobe Magazine (1998). Design>Document Design>Hypertext


Linking to External Blog Posts from Our Documentation

A technical writer’s blog on Wordpress Linking to external blog posts from our documentation with 3 comments At work, we’ve just started a new set of documentation pages called “Tips of the Trade“. The project is still in the early stages. I thought other tech writers might be interested, so I’m blogging about it now. There will be a page for each of the products we document. The pages contain a set of links to useful blog posts written by people out there on the www. It’s a way of giving our readers more information and a way of involving external bloggers, developers and authors in our documentation.

Maddox, Sarah. ffeathers (2009). Articles>Documentation>Hypertext>Blogging


Linking to Pages or Destinations Within PDFs

Information about how to link to pages or specific bookmarks within a PDF document.

Shea, Dan. PlanetPDF (2004). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext>Adobe Acrobat


Links   (PDF)

Linking means that users will select and click on a hypertext link on a starting page (usually the homepage), which then causes a new page to load. Users continue toward their goal by finding and clicking on subsequent links. To ensure that links are effectively used, designers should use meaningful link labels (making sure that link names are consistent with their targets), provide consistent clickability cues (avoiding misleading cues), and designate when links have been clicked. Whenever possible, designers should use text for links rather than graphics. Text links usually provide much better information about the target than do graphics.

Usability.gov (2006). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext


Links and Hypertext: An Introduction to Links and Hypertext

Some types of links are more accessible than others, and some types of links are completely inaccessible to people with certain types of disabilities. Because links are so basic to the functionality of web content, inaccessible links are one of the most severe barriers to overall accessibility.

WebAIM (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Hypertext


Links: What's Kosher?

If your organization has a Web site, it can be useful to see who else has made links to your site. By tracking down those links, you can find out what people are saying about your site, what pages are particularly useful, and how people are finding your site.

Ivey, Keith C. Editorial Eye, The (1997). Design>Web Design>Hypertext


Little Machines: Rearticulating Hypertext Users

In recognizing ourselves as computer users, we are also articulated (at least partially) as the used, the variable piece of the machine that closes the circuit, like a key in the ignition of a car. We are happiest when our technologies when they work automatically, when the machine appears to anticipate our every desire. The machine is never completely absent from our attention, but it is becoming increasingly difficult--pointless, it seems--to think critically about the operations of the machine and our position within it. We don't think often about the ways in which the technology (and the larger, social technical system) construct users in ways that presuppose a simple, mechanistic model of efficiency and value. If the programmers have done their work well, we reason, then we shouldn't have to think. Functional hypertexts (online documention, references, tutorials) are defined, socially and politically, in this politics of amnesia.

Johnson-Eilola, Johndan. Clarkson University (1995). Articles>Rhetoric>Hypertext


Long Pages and Gentler Separation of Adjacent Nodes

Hypertext theory chronically assumes the strongly fragmented card model rather than the article model of presentation.

Hoffman, Michael. Hypertext Navigation. Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Longitudinal Trends in Academic Web Links   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Longitudinal studies of web change are needed to assess the stability of webometric statistics and this paper forms part of an on-going longitudinal study of three national academic web spaces. It examines the relationship between university inlinks and research productivity over time and identifies reasons for individual universities experiencing significant increases and decreases in inlinks over the last six years. The findings also indicate that between 66 and 70% of outlinks remain the same year on year for all three academic web spaces, although this stability conceals large individual differences. Moreover, there is evidence of a level of stability over time for university site inlinks when measured against research productivity. Surprisingly, however, inlink counts can vary significantly from year to year for individual universities, for reasons unrelated to research which undermines their use in webometrics studies.

Payne, Nigel and Mike Thelwall. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Web Design>Academic>Hypertext


Manipulating Interactivity with Thematically Hyperlinked News Texts: A Media Learning Experiment   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article concerns the influence of news presentation on the web. The study had two primary goals. The first was to test the effects of interactivity on learning, and the second was to explore the role of motivation in learning from interactive media. Hypotheses were tested using an experimental design. Study participants were assigned one of four web news stories with structures that encouraged varying degrees of interactivity. The results of hypothesis testing were heavily dependent on which measure of learning was employed. A traditional multiple-choice test of recognition verified an effect of motivation but not of interactive behaviour. A comprehension measure of learning, supported by the cognitive constructivism theory of learning employed in this study, supported an effect of interactive behaviour but not of motivation. Explanations for the findings are proposed and implications for mass communicators discussed.

Tremayne, Mark. New Media and Society (2008). Articles>Education>Multimedia>Hypertext


Map Slide and Navigation Hyperlinks in PowerPoint/Keynote

In large presentations, a graphical map slide and invisible hyperlinks help the audience keep track of progress while letting the presenters follow either a preset or a spontaneous path through their slides. Map slide and hyperlinks allow presenters to keep to time and to respond immediately to perceived audience needs.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Software>Hypertext>Microsoft PowerPoint



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