Re: Information Mapping vs. Usability Testing of Documentation

Subject: Re: Information Mapping vs. Usability Testing of Documentation
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- oddpost -dot- com>
To: HSC Italian <twins398 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 16:30:24 -0800 (PST)

By far the preponderance of usability books I've seen deal with either application user interfaces or website issues.

Information mapping, done correctly, results in a logical process that users can easily grasp and can easily find what they want to know--whether it's the "high level" view or a detailed procedural one. IMO, an IM document can save a great deal of time for the user who wants to quickly find what they're looking for and then get on with their business...and, with documentation, that would be one of the best marks of good usability.

As others have said, creating documents in that format can quickly expose flaws in procedural information.

For documents that are not procedural, I think the IM paradigm becomes strained in many cases.

David

-----Original Message from HSC Italian <twins398 -at- hotmail -dot- com>-----

I want to thank everyone for the feedback I received from my original
posting. The feedback has been invaluable.

I am a usability geek and know little about information mapping (IM);
however, it seemed that the overall theme from the feedback I received was
that IM and usability do not necessarily go hand in hand. I have endless
books on documentation usability. I have incorporated usability as part of
the process before a document is released. IM is not mentioned in any of my
usability books. Just based on what I learned about IM on the Web, usability
and IM seem like two different animals. Would those of you who have had
experiene with one or the other, or both agree?

TIA,

Heidi




References:
Re: Information Mapping vs. Usability Testing of Documentation: From: HSC Italian

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