RE: Is there such a thing as TMI?

Subject: RE: Is there such a thing as TMI?
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 13:31:57 -0500

Hi Jane,

In our help system, we layer information so that people who want more
information can dig deeper and find it. People who are looking for just the
basics can find them too.

We have managed things so that the basic info appears first. People can then
drill down to more topics as they need them. This approach keeps the newbies
sufficiently insulated from the details until they really have a need for
something. The links indicate that there is more information there if they
ever need it. The experienced users tend to search for the esoteric
information items they need.

We have developed an "About ..." topic for all the conceptual components of
our application. For example, in our resource management module, we have
topics like About Resources, About Users, About Resource Needs and
Assignments, etc. For those people who need more information, we have lots
of links to more and more detailed topics, down to very specific things like
Cost Estimates Based on Resources and the like.

So far, people seem very pleased with this structure. It is very flexible
and easily extended as more features are added. It is easy for people to
find more detailed topics through links in text, Related Topics links, and
our search engine. And IMHO, it reduces or severely limits redundancy of

My input, for what it's worth ...


John Garison
Documentation Manager
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742

Voice: 978-402-2907
Fax: 978-318-9376

-----Original Message-----
From: Jane Carnall [mailto:jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 12:25 PM
Subject: Is there such a thing as TMI?

Is there such a thing as giving people too much information?

Well, if the people are being given more information than they can handle
(or is that bad design?) or if they are being given irrelevant information
that drowns out the relevant, yes...


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