RE: Chunking information (Was: multiple TWs for a project)

Subject: RE: Chunking information (Was: multiple TWs for a project)
From: SusanP <susanp -at- astound -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 11:50:51 -0500

"Chunking" is also a term used in psychology and Information Mapping. The
principles are the same throughout. The human brain can only absorb 7
plus/minus two new ideas/concepts/steps at a time. Therefore, Information
Mapping recommends that procedures be "chunked" into 5-9 steps maximum.

I had one procedure which was well over 50 steps from start to finish, but
when you broke it down into "Installing", "Configuring the DIP Switches",
etc. there were several sub-procedures to accomplish a certain task. It made
it easier for the user to understand what they were doing and why.

Susan

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Weber [SMTP:jean -at- wrevenge -dot- com -dot- au]
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2000 2:08 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Chunking information (Was: multiple TWs for a
project)

Tony's use of the word "chunking" is the meaning I'm familiar with.
Such
"chunked" information can then become "chunks" in the presentation
and
layout sense. This use of the term (logical chunks rather than
visual
chunks) may be more apparent when writing online help, where the
chunks of
information must be able to stand alone, because you don't know in
what
order someone will read them.

In such a project, it's relatively easy to parcel out chunks of the
work to
different writers -- but planning, coordination and good editing is
essential. I haven't been following this thread closely, so I'm not
sure
what "dependencies" Tony is talking about, but two I can think of
are
consistency of terminology and writing style, so that users can
develop
expectations of what they will find where in a help topic, and what
the
various *things* in the product are called.

Regards, Jean
Jean Hollis Weber
mailto:jean -at- wrevenge -dot- com -dot- au
The Technical Editors' Eyrie http://www.wrevenge.com.au/
Avalook at Australia Travel site: http://www.avalook.com.au/


At 02:16 2/11/00 -0500, Bonnie Granat wrote:
> >Tony Markatos responds:
> >
> >The logical way to chunk (break into smaller pieces) procedural
information
> >is by task. In this way the dependencies between the chunks are
minimized.
> >
>Is your use of the word common? "Chunking" in my experience is
about
>presentation and layout only. Rather than repeat my initial
comment, please
>read it again.
>
>Bonnie Granat
>http://home.att.net/~bgranat


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