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

Subject: Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??"
From: Gordon Meyer <gordonmeyer -at- mac -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 14:23:19 -0800



On Saturday, December 14, 2002, at 07:59 PM, Michael West wrote:

Um, well, the corollary part of the argument that you
seem to be agreeing with was that users "never
use" TOCs. So which is it? You can't have it both ways.

Ah yes, nothing like setting up a straw man to prove your point. The argument isn't that TOCs aren't used, its that they aren't very useful and that searching is a better way to locate information. The rest of my message supported that point.

The frustrated users you describe are users who
have been given a TOC that does not correspond
to their view of the world. The fault is with the Help,
author--not with the utility of a TOC as a navigational
aid. It has to be well-built to be useful. Just "being
there" isn't good enough.


But is there a way to make a TOC reflect each individual user's "view of the word"? That's a serious question, for as you've pointed out, its the way to make a TOC usable. It's easy for an author to construct a TOC, but as long as they author only one, it's guaranteed not to match each user's conception, and thus rapidly degrade in usefulness.

--Gordon




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

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