A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Politexts, Hypertexts, and Other Cultural Formations in the Late Age of Print

I have twisted the language to contrive the title of this essay because I want to interrogate the future of literacy, both its electronic formations (if indeed these differ from its pre-electronic ones) and its social origins and effects. Hence: I am using the unpronounceable locution e-literacies in two different ways: first, to mean those reading and writing processes specific to electronic texts (by texts, I mean a whole range of digitally encoded materials -- words, sounds, pictures, video clips, simulations, etc.); second, to signify elite-racies as in those socio-economic elites whose interests might be served by electronic literacies of one sort or another, or who might come to be elites by virtue of their ability to shape electronic literacies.

Kaplan, Nancy. Computer-Mediated Communication (1995). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Practical Hypermedia: Using Hypertext and Multimedia in the Real World   (PDF)

Multimedia and hypertext are two of the hottest topics in technical communications today. Multimedia, in one form or another, has been around for decades—so has hypertext. Both have been of enormous interest to the technical communicator specifically, and the computer user in general. Lately, we have seen advancements in computer technology that can allow a computer user to produce presentations of considerable quality. Just as the advent of the Macintosh ushered in the era of desktop publishing, the rapidly falling prices of digital video cards and image editing software are about to pave the way for another revolution in desktop computing.

Radecki, Steven Lewis. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Multimedia>Hypertext


Problems and Solutions Converting Linear Documents to a Non-Linear Web Environment

The World-Wide Web empowers writers, educators, and businesses with a new medium to display content, communicate to their audiences, advertise, or simply organize information for a new type of presentation. Because the last ten years mark the growth and emergence of web technology and proliferation, web design standards are slowly emerging, and have not yet solidified. The medium is immature, can be misused, and frequently communicates ineffectively. Many writers and designers of web pages are faced with the challenge of converting information traditionally printed linearly to a non-linear presentation on the Web. This changes information organization, encourages the hypertext theory, engages readers, and takes advantage of the dynamic flexibility of the Web.

McKinstry, Barbara. Elements of Information Design (2001). Design>Information Design>Hypertext


Providing Context for Ambiguous Link Phrases

This article demonstrates a technique that allows ambiguous link phrases to be rendered visually in a page, whilst making sense to screen readers, and other non-graphical devices, that might render the links out of context.

Lemon, Gez. Paciello Group, The (2007). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Hypertext


Providing Sequencing Cues for Non-Linear Text   (PDF)

Much of the information writers provide for users is hypertext. Providing information in an online format can create an extra burden for the users—that of sequencing the information. Authors of hypertext can help users navigate online information by adding sequencing cues in the text (in addition to conventional navigation aids such as indexes and hyperlinks). The sequencing cues direct the reader to related topics using a path designed by the author. In this study, sequencing cues were found to be a viable option for users reading a particular online document for the first time.

Borgwardt, Diane M. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Writing>Hypertext


Publish and Sell Your Book in Hypertext   (PDF)

Anyone who would like to publish a book should consider using Windows™ hypertext Help. Publishing in hypertext can help authors fulfill their creative urge. Conventional publishing methods can obstruct good writers from contributing to their respective field of interest. It is hard to get a book proposal accepted today. Competition is fierce, and writers must follow accepted protocols to have ideas considered. There is potential for writers who develop and produce Windows online Help systems. They are already 'experts' in a newly emerging technology. Using the Windows hypertext medium, writers can publish and sell their ideas without the hassles of the publishing industry.

Davis, Douglas W. STC Proceedings (1994). Design>Publishing>Online>Hypertext


Reflections on NoteCards: Seven Issues for the Next Generation of Hypermedia Systems   (peer-reviewed)

NoteCards, developed by a team at Xerox PARC, was designed to support the task of transforming a chaotic collection of unrelated thoughts into an integrated, orderly interpretation of ideas and their interconnections. This article presents NoteCards as a foil against which to explore some of the major limitations of the current generation of hypermedia systems, and characterizes the issues that must be addressed in designing the next generation systems.

Halasz, Frank G. ACM SIGDOC (1988). Presentations>Information Design>Hypertext


Research About Hypertext Navigation and Web Structure-Handling Capabilities

The Web did what no other hypertext system did (with the possible notable exception of HyperCard): it brought hypertext to the large public.

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


Review: Review of Writing at the Edge: Student Webs from Brown University   (peer-reviewed)

In Writing at the Edge, George Landow has provided a hypertext that is both in and about hypertext.

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


Reviving Advanced Hypertext

To manage a huge, worldwide information space, users need proven features like fat links, typed links, integrated search and browsing, overview maps, big-screen designs, and physical hypertext.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Articles>Web Design>Hypertext


Search Engine Hits on Popular Keywords

Find out how various popular keywords rank against their opposites (life vs. death, heaven vs. hell, Jesus vs. Beatles, everything vs. nothing, etc.) in this report on a unique One Hour Google Search Experiment. But what does it all mean? Draw your own conclusions. Fun and enlightening.

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2005). Articles>Internet>Search>Hypertext



SIGWEB supports the multi-disciplinary field of hypertext and hypermedia, facilitating its application both on the World-Wide Web and also in independent, distributed and stand-alone environments. It provides a forum for the promotion, dissemination, and exchange of ideas concerning research and applications among scientists, systems designers and end-users.

ACM SIGWEB. Organizations>Web Design>Hypertext


SIGWEB Newsletter   (members only)

SIGWEB supports the multi-disciplinary field of hypertext and hypermedia, facilitating its application both on the World-Wide-Web and also in independent, distributed and stand-alone environments. It provides a forum for the promotion, dissemination, and exchange of ideas concerning research and application among scientists, systems designers and endusers. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of technology methodologies and standards, encouragement of greater public acceptance of hypertext technology and the promotion of consensus within the field.

ACM SIGWEB. Journals>Web Design>Hypertext


State of the Art Review on Hypermedia Issues And Applications   (peer-reviewed)

Hypertext systems are emerging as a new class of complex information management systems. These systems allow people to create, annotate, link together, and share information from a variety of media such as text, graphics, audio, video, animation, and programs. Hypertext systems provide a non-sequential and entirely new method of accessing information unlike traditional information systems which are primarily sequential in nature. They provide flexible access to information by incorporating the notions of navigation, annotation, and tailored presentation [Bieber, 1993]. There are a number of research issues related to the design, development, and application of hypertext systems. This paper is a review of literature related to all these issues. This chapter is an introduction to hypertext, some existing systems, and some pioneers who have contributed to the definition and understanding of many aspects related to hypertext. Chapter 2 discusses issues related to hypertext implementation. Chapter 3 is on database requirements for hypertext systems. Chapter 4 discusses user interface issues and evaluation of hypertext. Chapter 5 is on information retrieval in hypertext systems. Chapter 6 discusses research efforts in the area of integrating hypertext with the work environment. Chapter 7 discusses some of the applications for which the hypertext paradigm is most suitable. Chapter 8 discusses a systematic approach to user interface design for a hyprtext system. It is an attempt to apply some of the ideas discussed in earlier chapters. Chapter 9 is a summary of all research issues and sets some directions for further work.

Balasubramanian, V. E-Papyrus.com (1994). Books>Information Design>Hypertext


Strategic Linking Techniques

Utilize hypertext to maximize the interactive experience of your site. Above all else, hypertext should be used to help your users find what they want, when they want it. You want your users to be able to get more information at just the right time and place in your pages. This isn't easy. Poor linking is a major problem on almost all Web sites.

Rhodes, John S. WebWord (1999). Design>Web Design>Hypertext


Studies in Hypertext

This Web site is a collaborative effort by students in Studies In Hypertext — a Technical Writing class offered by the Department of English at the University of Central Florida. The following pages discuss the political, theoretical, and technical issues of the World Wide Web and how these issues relate to the practices of communication, learning, and information retrieval in our culture.

University of Central Florida. Resources>Information Design>Hypertext


Studies in Hypertext: the Conversion of Traditional Texts into Web Sites   (PDF)

The production of a web page has become a common assignment in a number of university classrooms, but there has yet to be established a pedagogy for the generation of large group-generated web sites that replicate the methods found in industry. In Studies in Hypertext, a course offered to technical communication students at the University of Central Florida, such a pedagogy is being shaped. In this course, students with little or no experience in web site generation work their way through a series of written and small web site construction tasks to eventually produce one complex and competently-integrated web site.

Applen, J.D. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Hypertext


Teaching Hypertext Composition   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Composing hypertext documents can be an enriching path into the world of technical communication. In learning to produce hypertext, students are introduced to an important form of written composition that encompasses not only text generation, but also visual communication and information architecture. In this article, I provide a rationale for teaching hypertext composition and then some specific curricular suggestions in two parts, one for teaching beginners, and one for teaching more advanced students.

Gordon, Jay L. Technical Communication Quarterly (2005). Articles>Writing>Hypertext>Education


The Cultural Metamorphosis of the Internet. Hypertext and Publishing in the 'Digital Culture' (Notes Regarding Communicative Convergence)   (peer-reviewed)

Focuses on the cultural significance of hypertext and online publishing possibilities for culture, education, research and communication.

Graupera Sanz, Marta. Tower of Babel. Articles>Publishing>Cyberculture>Hypertext


Three HyperCard Stacks on CD-ROM: A Review

A review of the Macintosh CD-ROM versions of The Manhole, the Time Table of History, and the Electronic Whole Earth Catalog with emphasis on their usability and their support of hypertext navigation. Based on the discussion of these hypertexts the following general principles are found to be useful for analyzing hypertext user interfaces: Navigational dimensions and their explicitness, directionality and literalness, landmarks, locational orientation, history lists, and backtrack mechanisms.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1989). Articles>Usability>Software>Hypertext


Traffic from Referring Sites

The amount of traffic referred to a site from other sites seems to follow a Zipf distribution quite closely. The figure shows the distribution of traffic referred to useit.com from other websites during the first three months of 1997. Each dot on the figure represents a URL from which one or more users followed a link to useit.com. Even though the data is not a perfect match with the Zipf curve, it does seem to be the case that the referrals are reasonably close to the Zipf curve. In other words, there are a few other sites that direct a lot of traffic to useit (either because these sites have very high traffic themselves or because they have prominent links to useit). Note that search engines (the blue dots) are strongly represented among these often-referring sites.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1997). Design>Web Design>Hypertext


Two Basic Hypertext Presentation Models

The hypertext world has classically distinguished between two fundamentally different ways of presenting hypertext nodes on the screen: scrolling and cards. Throughout the history of hypertext, designers of hypertext systems have argued about the relative merits of these two contrasting approaches. The proponents of the scrolling model are sometimes called the holy scrollers and the proponents of the card model are called the card sharks. Here are examples of documents I have authored myself in these two models, using pre-WWW hypertext systems.

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


Use Links Efficiently   (members only)

When you place content, Adobe® InDesign® 2.0 doesn't just add the graphics and text to your document—it keeps track of the original files as well. You can use the links to update the data if the original file changes, to track down missing graphic information, or to replace a graphic with another, without losing the transformations you've applied. And when you work with text files, it's usually best to remove the link altogether.

Adobe. Articles>Information Design>Document Design>Hypertext


L'Utilisation de l'Hypertexte

L'ennemi de l'hypertexte, c'est l'hypertexte lui-même... Abusez de l'hypertexte et vous ne tarderez pas à dérouter votre visiteur. Evitez donc l'effet 'labyrinthe' dans la mesure du possible ! Un utilisateur ne devrait jamais avoir à explorer des forêts de boutons pour obtenir de simples informations.

Hardy, Jean-Marc. Redaction (2004). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext


Visual-Spatial Thinking in Hypertexts   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article explores what it means to think visually and spatially in hypertexts. As visual-spatial texts, hypertexts urge users to think differently than they do with paper-based (verbal-linear) texts, perceiving the hypertext in three-dimensions and imagining the possible 'future paths' that might be followed in the text. Drawing from research on visual-spatial thinking from cognitive science, we explore how users react and maneuver in real and virtual three-dimensional spaces. Then we offer four principles of visual thinking that can be applied to the development of hypertexts. Illustrative uses of these principles are provided.

Johnson-Sheehan, Richard D. and Craig Baehr. Technical Communication Online (2001). Design>Information Design>Visual>Hypertext



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