Re: Index/TOC Needed in HTML &/or Browser-Based Help?
I have had users here who ask for an "index", that is, keyword search,
rather than text search.
I see several streams of inquiry related to this:
* User expectations - Does it confuse users if a TOC and index are
* User modeling/research - Are we convinced that users only need a
* Tech writing expectations - Are we as tech writers uncomfortable with
removing TOCs and indexes? Is this
based on experience, or fear of change?
* Technology - Are our search tools sufficient to achieve customer
A few points about about indexing vs. text search:
* Full text searches depend on what the author includes in the
document (I remember an STC presentation by Jared Spool a couple
of years ago in which he said a search of Smithsonian Magazine
archives for "dinosaur" turned up an article on the American steel
industry but not one on tyrannasaurus rex).
* You can provide alternate industry terms in an index but not
a text search (for example, if you use "Contacts" rather than
"Addresses" for an address book)
* An index can indicate the significance of a topic by
where the entry is grouped in a sequence
* An index can provide other related topics using "see also"
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RE: Index/TOC Needed in HTML &/or Browser-Based Help?: From: Joe Malin
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