A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Adaptive Organization of Tabular Data for Display

Tabular representations of information can be organized so that the subject distance between adjacent columns is low, bringing related materials together. In cases where data is available on all topics, the subject distance between table columns and rows can be formally shown to be minimized. A variety of Gray codes may be used for ordering tabular rows and columns. Subject features in the Gray code may be ordered so that the coding system used is one that has a lower inter-column subject distance than with many other codes. Methods by which user preferences may be incorporated are described. The system optionally may display unrequested columns of data that are related to requested data.

Losee, Robert M. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Personalization


Adaptive Web Sites: An Introduction

Broadly marketed Web sites face an increasingly diverse and demanding audience. Each visitor may be searching for something different, and each may have unique needs or concerns. Traditional, 'static' Web sites can try to serve these diverse users by aiming at generalized types of user. However, generalizing the audience may cause an information designer to overlook users who do not quite fit in a category. A more effective way to reach diverse audiences might be adaptive Web sites that customize content and interface to suit each individual. This paper will discuss basic concepts behind adaptive Web sites using Amazon.com, the Internet bookseller, as an example.

Wei, Carolyn. EServer (2001). Design>Web Design>Personalization


Anonymous Personalization: Part I

Personalization versus privacy. It's not a question of which will ultimately prevail. But rather, how can we have both?

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2003). Design>Web Design>Personalization>Privacy


Anonymous Personalization: Part II

Personalization doesn't always require that you obtain personally identifiable information about a visitor -- many times you can personalize your Web content by only knowing their interests and preferences.

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2003). Design>Web Design>Personalization


Applying Personalization to the Purchase Decision Process

The idea of personalizing Web and e-mail content is becoming well accepted because most of us already personalize the person-to-person communications that we use every day. However, planning a personalized web site has proven to be more of a challenge than many marketers had imagined.

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2003). Design>Web Design>Personalization


Ask Once And Remember

Have you ever tried to place an order with a salesperson or waiter and found yourself answering the same questions over and over again? There are many sites on the Web where this occurs, such as those with product locator searches, shopping carts, and other functions that are supposed to make Web sites more interactive.

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2003). Design>Web Design>Personalization


Building Relationships With Personalization

Understanding what personalization is all about regarding potential customers. Variables that can affect how fast a relationship can be developed.

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2003). Design>Web Design>Personalization>CRM


Choosing the Right Database System

The Web-surfing public doesn't really care about flashy-yet-useless technology. They want Web sites that do something for them: provide a service or entertainment; help get a job or a date; check bank account balances, stock prices, interest rates, availability of airline tickets, today's weather ... and so on.

Dice, Richard. Webmonkey (1998). Design>Web Design>Databases>Personalization


Review: Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery   (members only)

One comes away from the book with a feeling of an enormous challenge—technical, organizational, budgetary, and political. If you or your boss is considering developing and deploying a content management system at your place of work and you both want to know what you might be in for, get this book.

Hudak-David, Ginny. Technical Communication Online (2003). Articles>Reviews>Content Management>Personalization


Creating "Smart Help" with Conditional Content

Discusses several methods for making Web-based Help systems 'smart,' by using conditional content to customize the appearance and behavior of your pages to the users' needs.

Gash, Dave. WritersUA (2005). Articles>Documentation>Help>Personalization


Creating Dynamic Web Sites

Creating Dynamic Web Sites is a presentation intended to teach beginners what it takes to add applications to a website in order to make it dynamic rather than static. This presentation was designed to cover everything thirty minutes and conclude by recommending various free sites to obtain free software to make your site dynamic including Java, ASP, and last but certainly not least, Perl.

Birznieks, Gunther. Extropia. Design>Web Design>Personalization


Customisable Websites - The Definitive Guide

Customisable websites have recently become more and more popular - get the lowdown on when and why you should and shouldn't allow users to change pages on your website.

Warsi, Abid. Webcredible (2008). Design>Web Design>Usability>Personalization


Customization of UIs and Products

Websites that let users customize the UI have the same measured usability as regular sites. Sites for customizing products, however, score substantially worse due to complex workflow.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2009). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Personalization


The Dangers of Personalization

Personalization is coming to technical communication, and the results may not be pretty. n offering the individual an opportunity to pick and choose among XML content objects, we risk causing confusion when the organization of the site appears to shift, and familiar landmarks disappear. Critical content may become invisible to the user. The very process of creating preferences, custom options, or an entire personal profile adds a complex distraction that many users may resent, because it takes them away from their original task for so long that they forget what they were doing. Even advanced search mechanisms, which promise to pinpoint the exact information object the user wants, risk baffling users with their own complexity.

Price, Jonathan R. Communication Circle, The (2001). Presentations>Information Design>Personalization


Designing for Multiple Audiences

Current literature tells web designers to determine who their primary users are, then design the website for that group. However, in many cases a website must serve multiple audiences with very different needs. This article explores a few options that web designers have in creating a website that meets the needs of multiple audiences.

Riebeek, Holli. EServer (2001). Design>Information Design>Web Design>Personalization


Designing Personalized User Experiences for eCommerce: An Information Architecture Perspective   (PDF)

You can think of the information architecture as the “glue” that holds a web site together - the part that hooks the content up with the user interface. It provides the large buckets to place products into and that users can browse by. It specifies the meta-information that ties pieces of content together and enables things like cross-selling.

Instone, Keith. Instone.org (2003). Articles>Web Design>Personalization>E Commerce


Designing Responsive Hypermanuals   (PDF)

The responsive hypermanual is a new method of delivering documentation that orders the contents of an online manual in response to the user’s current task. It uses hypertext modules controlled by an SQL database for managing the development, and presentation of modular documentation to provide a uniquely usercentric system. their needs. When the user asks technical support for help, they delegate the effort of assembling material scattered throughout the document into a meaningful answer.

Lettvin, David W. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Documentation>Interactive>Personalization


Designing Web Applications

There is no commonly accepted definition of web applications. Like regular websites, web applications are based on standard web technology: (D)HTML pages accessed through a web browser using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Java applets and Flash, even though embedded in web pages, use different technologies with different capabilities and limitations and are not web applications.

HCIRN (2003). Design>Web Design>Personalization


Designing Web Personalization Features   (PDF)

Personalization, which allows a web user to choose the content and layout of their own portal web page, is one of the most popular ways of increasing traffic at web sites, and helps to ensure return customers. But to be successful, it must be simple and it must be intuitive. This paper presents common personalization features used by top portals and reviews the design of the interfaces of three top portals: My Excite, My Yahoo and MSN. This paper provides examples of good and bad design techniques used in the portal sites, and gives tips on how to design usable personalization features.

Kravatz, Harris. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Web Design>Personalization


DITA Conversions and Dynamic Personalized Content: Interview with Ann Rockley

In an interview with Diane Wieland, Ann Rockley and Steve Manning of The Rockley Group discuss some new ideas related to XML and DITA conversion. They share their thoughts on dynamic personalized content delivery and component content management, which is the topic of an upcoming CMS Watch report that Rockley is co-authoring.

Wieland, Diane. Data Conversion Laboratory (2007). Articles>Content Management>Personalization>DITA


Do Staff Make Use of Personalisation Features?

Organisations around the world have already made their first forays into personalisation, however many more organisations are questioning what to personalise and how to go about it. So who is using personalisation and how effective is it?

Grenfell, Catherine. Step Two (2007). Articles>Content Management>Personalization>Usability


Don't Forget the Power User

Most usability studies focus on ease-of-learning rather than on long-run efficiency. Ease-of-learning is an appropriate goal for products that are used infrequently, like many commercial Web sites, automatic teller machines (ATMs), or Microsoft PowerPoint. However, ease-of-learning should not be the primary goal for products like corporate accounting and purchasing software or CAD software that are used many times a day, often by 'power users'. For products where most users soon become experts and use the products daily, efficiency should be the primary usability attribute, with ease-of-learning a secondary attribute.

Wilson, Chauncey E. Usability Interface (1997). Articles>Usability>Personalization


Elastic Design

Not quite liquid, yet not fixed-width either, Elastic Design combines the strengths of both. Done well, it can enhance accessibility, exploit neglected monitor and browser capabilities, and freshen your creative juices as a designer.

Griffiths, Patrick. List Apart, A (2004). Design>Web Design>Personalization


From Switches to Targets: A Standardista's Journey

Version targeting allows browsers to much more easily develop new features and fix bugs and shortcomings in existing features, which has the potential to speed up the evolution of web design and development. That alone is reason enough to give it a chance.

Meyer, Eric. List Apart, A (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Personalization


Guiding Principles for Providing "Remember Me" Personalization

As we set out to enhance personalization on Marriott.com, we realized we needed guidelines to inform our thinking and shape our decisions, particularly decisions related to customer privacy. Our earlier user research revealed the need for greater personalization and helped us understand customer attitudes towards privacy. From there, we sought to build customer trust and loyalty by addressing concerns about privacy and security in every aspect of the user experience. In creating the Guiding Principles outlined here, we conducted a thorough analysis of eight major websites and then merged the findings with what we already knew. These principles apply specifically to 'remember me' personalization.

Peters, Meg. Boxes and Arrows (2006). Articles>Web Design>Privacy>Personalization



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