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Interesting thread. I remember an article by Saul Carliner on Info
Design where he proposed a 3-part framework for ID that I think fits
well with what we do. He described it as:
1. Physical - the ability to find the info. We're all familiar with
this - page and screen design, TOC, indexes etc
2. Cognitive - the ability to understand info. Again, familiar
territory - user/task analysis etc and then providing he info in a way
the users will understand; appropriate language etc.
3. Affective - the ability to feel comfortable with the
presentation of the info. Not so common :-) Here he suggests we need to
make the user _want_ to use the info. Use marketing techniques to get
their attention, motivate them to use it (tied to 1 & 2?) etc.
I'd guess we all fit into 1/2 and sometimes 3 (even without knowing it!)
Whether we transfer knowledge or information is a moot point. Maybe:
'mediocre' docs transfer info and the user digs out the info to gain
'good' docs are written so that we don't have to dig it out - where it's
there, just lying on the surface to be picked up and this I'd probably
call knowledge transfer, not info. I'm sure, like me, you had at least
one teacher somewhere in school where you learned almost in spite of
yourself without trying - that's knowledge transfer, when you don't even
realise it's happening :-)
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