Re: Info Architechture: Card-Sort Topics, Granularity thereof

Subject: Re: Info Architechture: Card-Sort Topics, Granularity thereof
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>
To: cewinch -at- aep -dot- com
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 10:36:56 -0500

Connie, could you take out the keywords from titles and just use them?

For example, "mehtods for calculating effective catenary curve constants of
ACSR and aluminum conductors at maximum operating temperatures between 167
deg. and 401 deg" might be

Constant Calculations: ACSR and Al conductors with operating temperatures

or

Constant Calculations: ACSR and Al conductors, Temps 167-401

It might be helpful for you down the road if you could look at the titles
and see if there will be a natural category down the road, and use that for
the first phrase: e.g., Calculations or Constant Calculations

Then you could have categories that would open to a new page with a list of
documents, or a dropdown menu for the different docs.

Sounds like a great, fun project!

Kathleen

On Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 9:53 AM, <cewinch -at- aep -dot- com> wrote:

> All,
>
> I'm embarking on my first-ever card sort, and I have a question to put to
> your collective wisdom. But before I ask it, some background: I work for a
> major electric utility, in the group that sets the standards for how
> transmission lines and structures are designed, engineered, and
> constructed. The project for which I'm planning a card sort is redesigning
> the internal SharePoint site that presents (among other things) our
> standards, specifications, and guidelines. As part of that effort, I'm
> "information architecting" our body of content--and planning to design the
> site so it more or less mirrors the classification system that comes out
> of my research (user/task, mental models, etc.). What a concept, huh? ;)
>
> OK. The granularity level I'd decided on was individual-document level. So
> I've created labels (to affix to the cards) with document titles on
> them...mostly *without* any indication that they're doc. titles--to assist
> with sorters' ability focus on the implied content.
>
> Here's the problem: When I do that, I end up with some topics like, for
> example: "mehtods for calculating effective catenary curve constants of
> ACSR and aluminum conductors at maximum operating temperatures between 167
> deg. and 401 deg." Yes, that's the title of a document (just without
> initial caps here). It strikes even my inexperienced mind that that's too
> broad/inclusive to be considered a single topic that's workable in a card
> sort.
>
> When I try to paraphrase and pare down the title (for example, "best
> practices: calculating catenary curve constants for conductors at maximum
> operating temps"), it's still too much packed into one "topic."
>
> I don't think that changing the actual documents' titles is politically
> feasible right now, so I'm taking that option off the table.
>
> Suggestions?
>
> Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide. :)
>
> Connie Winch
> Senior Technical Communicator
> American Electric Power
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
> Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
> 2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
> http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/
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--
Kathleen MacDowell
www.writefortheuser.com
kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Info Architechture: Card-Sort Topics, Granularity thereof: From: cewinch

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