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Re: Anyone take Information Mapping course recently? (last 5-7 years)
Subject:Re: Anyone take Information Mapping course recently? (last 5-7 years) From:Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> To:"Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com> Date:Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:40:15 -0400
Yes, I seem to remember reading somewhere, and recently, that Miller has
been none too happy with the way people have cited 7+/-2 as a hard and fast
On Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Janoff, Steven <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
> Thanks, Lin. That helps a lot. Appreciate the feedback.
> On the 7 +/- 2 rule, I happened to come across this email exchange between
> George Miller and Mark Halpern along the way of researching structured
> writing (Miller's work was mentioned in one of the other threads so it
> caught my eye when I saw it):
> Here's Miller's most significant line from that, in which he explains the
> purpose of his original paper:
> "But the point was that 7 was a limit for the discrimination of
> unidimensional stimuli (pitches, loudness, brightness, etc.) and also a
> limit for immediate recall, neither of which has anything to do with a
> person's capacity to comprehend printed text."
> And then:
> "...yes, you are right: nothing in my paper warrants asking Moses to
> discard any of the ten commandments."
> Interesting to see that laid out like that.
> Thanks again for the interchange.
> On Friday, October 24, 2014 2:25 PM, Lin Sims wrote:
> I took it back in about 2000, 2001 (yes, outside of your date range but
> apparently not theirs!). It was called "Mastering Policies, Procedures, and
> Documentation" then, too.
> Truthfully, I found that it wasn't teaching me much that I hadn't already
> figured out on my own. My conclusion was that good writers eventually come
> up with pretty similar methods, and that the course was either a nice tick
> box for a good, experienced writer's resume or a good jump start for an
> inexperienced writer as far as information organization and how to chunk
> If you're using Word, they have (or had) a well-developed add-on for
> incorporating Information Mapping formatting such as procedure tables and
> the like. I was using Frame at the time (and am again), so that wasn't
> included for me.
> They are BIG subscribers to the 7Â2 rule. [I find that, like with most
> things in tech docs, that depends on your audience and what you're trying
> to do. Sometimes it really DOES take 40 steps to do something, there really
> IS no way to chunk it out, and trying to force it to 7Â2 can be actively
> detrimental. Mileages vary.]
> and now ... the WEEKEND
> On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 3:52 PM, Janoff, Steven <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
> I was wondering if anyone on the list had taken the formal Information
> Mapping course within the last 5 years or so, through the company out of
> Waltham, Mass.
> If so, I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts about what it did
> or didn't do for you.
> Please feel free to post on-list if you are comfortable doing that, or
> offlist if not.
> The current relevant course, I believe, is "Mastering Policies,
> Procedures, and Documentation."
> Many years ago they taught a course specifically focusing on documentation
> (I believe Horn himself taught that one in the 80's), but they no longer
> offer this.
> I know "last 5-7 years" doesn't sound like recent. However, the InfoMap
> folks tell me that the method hasn't changed in 40 years. So a course from
> 5-7 years ago will still be relevant to whether the material is applicable
> Thanks very much for your time and consideration on this one.
> I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feelings.
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