Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??"

Subject: Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??"
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 09:22:39 +1100



----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Strasser" <paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com>


> In other words (and I hate that phrase, which suggests I really didn't do
a
> good job of explaining myself in the prior paragraph....) you go through
and
> delete some H2's or H3's from the TOC, even though they're part of your
> overall TOC.

Yes, that is also how I understood it. It must be me who
didn't do a good job of explaining myself.

>
> So, is this a good idea? Nope. If you use H1-3 in your TOC, it should be
> because they're part of a hierarchy of information. If there is some H2,
> for example, that doesn't need to be in the TOC then maybe it really
doesn't
> belong at the H2 level. The TOC should be a guide to not only the primary
> sections of the document, but a basic guideline to the makeup of the
> document.

Most of the time, yes. But there may be cases where a large
number of minor headings of a repetitive nature could end up
interfering with the usability of the TOC. As we both agree, this
is likely to result from a structural imbalance, but I have seen
cases where the usability of the TOC was improved by substituting
a general entry in the TOC for a number of overly specific entries
that did little but add clutter. This situation was also improved
by placing another navigational aid at the target location to help
the reader locate the needed detail.

There is nothing wrong with having one TOC that tells me
where to go for a *category* of information, and then a further
TOC (or other aid) at that destination to help me find the exact
piece I need. The basic requirement is that the TOC be a useful
map -- not that it literally replicate the headings structure. AFter all,
it is not a heading the user is looking for -- it is the information
*under* the heading.

--
M West
Melbourne




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References:
TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??": From: David Downing
Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??": From: Michael West
Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??": From: Paul Strasser

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