A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Information Design

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Information design (also known as 'information architecture') is the study of the details of complex systems. Among these are websites, user interactions, databases, technical writing documentation, and human-computer interfaces.

 

401.
#18434

The Ethics of Information Architecture

Are you aware that the practice of information architecture is riddled with powerful moral dilemmas? Do you realize that decisions about labeling and granularity can save or destroy lives? Have you been designing ethical information architectures?

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

402.
#26897

Ethics of Online Information Design

The beginning ethical issue of information design is access, which occurs in a unique context for each learner.

Smith, Sue. University of Arizona. Articles>Information Design>Ethics>Online

403.
#23096

Evaluating Information Architecture

This white paper explores the why's, what's, and how's of evaluating a web site's information architecture. It aims to raise consciousness about the evaluation of IA and to provide: 1) Web site owners and other decision-makers with an understanding of evaluation issues; and 2) Information architects with a synthesis of evaluation techniques.

Toub, Steve. Argus Center (2000). Articles>Information Design>Assessment

404.
#19259

An Evaluation of Document Keyphrase Sets   (peer-reviewed)

Keywords and keyphrases have many useful roles as document surrogates and descriptors, but the manual production of keyphrase metadata for large digital library collections is at best expensive and time-consuming, and at worst logistically impossible. Algorithms for keyphrase extraction like Kea and Extractor produce a set of phrases that are associated with a document. Though these sets are often utilized as a group, keyphrase extraction is usually evaluated by measuring the quality of individual keyphrases. This paper reports an assessment that asks human assessors to rate entire sets of keyphrases produced by Kea, Extractor and document authors. The results provide further evidence that human assessors rate all three sources highly (with some caveats), but show that the relationship between the quality of the phrases in a set and the set as a whole is not always simple. Choosing the best individual phrases will not necessarily produce the best set; combinations of lesser phrases may result in better overall quality.

Jones, Steve and Gordon W. Paynter. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Metadata

405.
#27912

Everything from One Source

In the city of Konstanz on the shores of Lake Constance, Siemens AG manufactures equipment for sorting post. Also at the same location, a team of 16 experts create the corresponding technical documentation. But their work is not restricted to handbooks and CDs. Since ten years, this department, called 'Technical Media', has also been taking care of multimedia and training.

Robers, Ralf. tekom (2006). Articles>Information Design>Single Sourcing>Documentation

406.
#34691

Everything You Wanted to Know About Semantic Technology, But Were Afraid to Ask

Semantic technology can be as heavy and stifling for any audience as stem-cell research can be to high-school students. But Carla Thompson of Guidewire did a terrific job of coming up with discussion topics and moderating the panel. Everyone survived the ordeal without any sign of dozing.

ReadWriteWeb (2009). Articles>Information Design>Semantic

407.
#13904

Evolution of the Emergency Medical Services Profession: A Case Study of EMS Run Reports   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Often the first of many documents written about patients, the emergency medical service’s run report is a preprinted form on which providers record the events of an emergency. These forms are important analytically because they represent the practices and interests of the multiple professions engaged in caring for critically ill or injured patients. This article examines the historical evolution of a shared medical form and its impact on the professionals who use it.

Munger, Roger H. Technical Communication Quarterly (2000). Design>Information Design>Biomedical

408.
#25655

The Evolving Metadata Architecture for the World Wide Web: Bringing Together the Semantics, Structure and Syntax of Resource Description

The Dublin Core is currently the best-developed candidate for a simple resource description model for electronic resources on the Web. It represents the results of a three year process of consensus-building through a series of focussed, invitational workshops involving librarians, digital library researchers, and various content specialists from many countries.

Weibel, Stuart. ISRDP in Digital Libraries (1997). Articles>Information Design>Metadata

409.
#22589

Examining XML

Buzz about the value and implications of XML has reached an all-time high, with lofty claims of its potential to transform business and society, doing everything from simple document formatting to curing the common cold. I don't recommend you empty your medicine cabinet just yet. However, do take seriously the developments surrounding XML and its associated technologies. While XML might not merit all the hyperbole, it remains useful. Knowing how to apply this simple meta-language can help you create solutions that will give you a strong competitive advantage.

Trytten, Chris. FileMaker Advisor (2004). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML

410.
#23176

Excelling in Excel with Java

Whether you have balance sheets, account information downloads, tax calculations, or pay slips, they all tend to come in Microsoft Excel. Non-IT professionals feel comfortable using Microsoft Excel as a data exchange technology. The Jakarta POI (Poor Obfuscation Implementation) API is a fantastic way for Java programmers to access Microsoft document formats. The most mature API from Jakarta POI is the HSSF (Horrible Spreadsheet Format) API, which accesses Microsoft Excel documents.

Sundaram, Elango. Java World (2004). Resources>Information Design>Programming>Microsoft Excel

411.
#32030

Execution Is Everything

The number one enemy of any strategy is poor execution. All across the business landscape, the ability of an organization to execute its strategy is one of the most critical elements of success. And for an effective UX strategy, the broad range of elements requiring alignment and implementation make its successful execution all the more difficult.

Baty, Steve. UXmatters (2008). Design>User Experience>Information Design

412.
#36268

Expanded Information Retrieval Using Full-Text Searching   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The value of full text for expanding information retrieval was examined. Two full-text databases were used: Textpresso for neuroscience and ScienceDirect. Queries representing different categories were used to search different text fields (titles, abstracts, full text and, where possible, keywords). Searching the full-text field relative to the commonly used abstracts field increases retrievals by one or more orders of magnitude, depending on the categories selected. For phenomena-type categories (e.g. blood flow, thermodynamic equilibrium, etc.), retrievals are enhanced by about an order of magnitude. For infrastructure-type categories (e.g. equipment types, sponsors, suppliers, databases, etc.), retrievals are enhanced by well over an order of magnitude, and sometimes multiple orders of magnitude. Use of combination terms along with proximity specification capability is a very powerful feature for retrieving relevant records from full-text searching, and can be useful for applications like literature-related discovery.

Kostoff, Ronald N. Journal of Information Science (2010). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Search

413.
#21288

Expanding the Approaches to User Experience

Jesse James Garrett’s 'The Elements of User Experience' diagram has become rightly famous as a clear and simple model for the sorts of things that user experience professionals do. But as a model of user experience it presents an incomplete picture with some serious omissions—omissions I’ll try address with a more holistic model.

Olsen, George. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Information Design>User Experience>User Centered Design

414.
#36956

Expanding the Boundaries of an Information Service: The British Library's Meetings with Inventors   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The range of interesting jobs, and accompanying job titles, in the information world has increased dramatically. In this issue’s column we hear from the British Library’s first Inventor in Residence about the work he does to encourage innovation.

Sheahan, Mark. Business Information Review (2010). Articles>Information Design>Case Studies>United Kingdom

415.
#29236

Explicit Structure in Print and On-Screen Documents   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The structure of print and on-screen documents is made explicit through headings and links. Three important concepts for understanding explicit structure are (1) the display-unit properties of each document medium, (2) the flexible relationship between explicit and implicit structure, and (3) the distinction between populated and unpopulated locations in a hierarchy. These concepts help us better understand standard print documents, structured writing, websites, help systems, and PowerPoint, as well as the potential effects of content management systems on how documents are created.

Farkas, David K. Technical Communication Quarterly (2005). Articles>Document Design>Information Design>Typography

416.
#21293

Exploring Content Filters

What if there was a new way of navigating an online information space we've all seen before but just never thought to use? I'm talking about subtracting away information the user doesn't want. Content filtering is a much more natural way of sorting through categories, especially when the majority of your content is under more than one subject.

Evans, Clifton. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Information Design>Web Design

417.
#29375

Exploring Information Design and Development

Known to write a script or two to automate repetitive tasks like help builds, she also likes to write posts about XML-based information models like Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). She often experiments with online help technology, enjoys writing blog entries, and wants to find new ways to use communication to help people understand technical solutions to complex problems.

Gentle, Anne. BMC Software (2007). Resources>Information Design>Documentation>Blogs

418.
#32333

Exploring the Emerging Intellectual Structure of Archival Studies Using Text Mining: 2001-2004   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Archival science, like other disciplines, is evolving into more specific interdisciplinary subfields. To determine this intellectual structure of archival science, the text mining method was used. The data were 432 articles from 2001 to 2004, and we produced 43 clusters of documents using the within-group average method in SPSS. Then we generated pathfinder networks of 43 clusters and grouped them into seven subject categories: digital libraries and digital archiving technologies, online resources and finding aids, archives and archivists, legal and political issues, electronic records and technical issues, records and information management, and e-mail and information professionals. Finally, these seven subject categories were merged into three sectors: digital library, archives and RIM (Business). This study describes dynamic change in the 2001—4 research themes from traditional single-subject areas to emerging, complex subject areas. These results also show that research areas in archival sciences have much growth potential and will continue to expand.

Lee, Jae Yun. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Knowledge Management>Information Design>Web Design

419.
#36028

Extend Enumerated Lists in an XML Schema

The addition of new values to a list is a common and necessary requirement. Schema designers often seek to build into the architecture a means to permit additional values that were unknown at design time. How can schema designers create an enumerated value list that is extensible and easy to implement? Discover several approaches used to achieve this goal.

Kiel, W. Paul. IBM (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML

420.
#32597

Extend Enumerated Lists in XML Schema

The addition of new values to a list is a common and necessary requirement. Schema designers often seek to build into the architecture a means to permit additional values that were unknown at design time. How can schema designers create an enumerated value list that is extensible and easy to implement? Discover several approaches used to achieve this goal.

Kiel, W. Paul. IBM (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>Databases

421.
#37068

Extending the Representational State Transfer (REST) Architectural Style for Decentralized Systems   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Because it takes time and trust to establish agreement, traditional consensus-based architectural styles cannot safely accommodate resources that change faster than it takes to transmit notification of that change, nor resources that must be shared across independent agencies. The alternative is decentralization: permitting independent agencies to make their own decisions. Our definition contrasts with that of distribution, in which several agents share control of a single decision. Ultimately, the physical limits of network latency and the social limits of independent agency call for solutions that can accommodate multiple values for the same variable. Our approach to this challenge is architectural: proposing constraints on the configuration of components and connectors to induce particular desired properties of the whole application. Specifically, we present, implement, and evaluate variations of the World Wide Webýs REpresentational State Transfer (REST) architectural style that support distributed and decentralized systems.

Khare, Rohit and Richard N. Taylor. International Conference on Software Engineering (2004). Articles>Web Design>Programming>Information Design

422.
#23097

Extending the Warwick Framework

This paper presents 'Distributed Active Relationships' (an extension of the Warwick Framework), a general framework for dealing with meta data issues in digital libraries and other information systems. By treating meta data as data, rather than giving it a special distinguished role, arbitrary resources are allowed to be associated with arbitrary relationships.

Daniel, Ron, Jr. and Carl Lagoze. DLib Magazine (1997). Articles>Information Design>Metadata

423.
#23098

Extracting Value from Automated Classification Tools: the Role of Manual Involvement and Controlled Vocabularies

Automated classification tools can't solve today's large-scale web and intranet indexing challenges alone. Neither can humans. But solutions that integrate human expertise with software products such as Interwoven's Metatagger and Autonomy's Categorizer can provide real value and savings. After a brief introduction to automated classification, this white paper discusses the benefits and limitations of manual, automated, and hybrid approaches. It explores the opportunities for leveraging controlled vocabularies and thesauri to produce more effective indexing solutions.

Hagedorn, Kat. DLib Magazine (2001). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Metadata

424.
#37092

Faceted Finding with Super-Powered Breadcrumbs

In this article, I propose the Integrated Faceted Breadcrumb (IFB) design that integrates the power of faceted refinement with the intuitive query expansion afforded by browse. Although other breadcrumb-based finding interfaces currently exist, they fall short of expectations by ignoring design best practices. At best, the breadcrumb is stuck in a role of a side-kick, forced to eke out meager screen real estate along-side more powerful finding controls.

Nudelman, Greg. Boxes and Arrows (2010). Articles>Web Design>Information Design

425.
#23888

Faceted Metadata for Image Search and Browsing

The authors present a new method of image searching based on conceptual descriptors. This method differs from the traditional methods of image searching that are based on keywords and visual similarity.

Hearst, Marti, Kevin Li, Kirsten Swearingen and Ka-Ping Yee. University of California Berkeley (2003). Design>Information Design>Search>Metadata

 
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