RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question)

Subject: RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question)
From: <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2016 00:18:43 -0400

The difference is, you go to a play (presumably) for the sake of the play.
You don't read documentation for the sake of the documentation. The
experience of the play is bounded by the intention of the playwright. The
experience of documentation is bounded by the task of the user and what they
need to glean from the whatever sources are available to them to understand
their problem and solve it.

What John Carroll's research at MIT showed (I don't know how much more
academic I can get than that) was that user's information seeking and
information usage was not shaped or bounded by the documentation, but by
their individual goal driven requirements. Information foraging theory came
from a research lab rather than a university, but should not be discounted
on that basis. It shows the same thing. Several other studies which I have
cited in the book and in the article I have linked to point in the same
direction.

Perhaps this is the expression that best sums up the difference between
document thinking and hypertext thinking: Document thinking assumes that the
reader's experience is bound to the document. Hypertext thinking assumes
from the beginning that it is not, and that each reader will make an
individual traversal of the information set in combination with other
information sources and their own experimentation. This point is supported
both by research (which I have cited) and by experience and observation in
the marketplace and on the Web.

There are, to be sure, still cases where document thinking is appropriate
(because the readers experience is indeed bound to the document). Novels are
an example, and so are books like mine. So it is entirely appropriate to
study appropriate design in the context of document thinking. But we have to
be careful not to take conclusions from that domain and apply them to the
hypertext domain where the reader's experience is not bound to the
documentation but to the task.

Mark


-----Original Message-----
From: Janoff, Steven [mailto:Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 7:48 PM
To: mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question)

Well, a lot of thoughts since I first popped a look at your message and
versus what I wanted to say, but some of it reminded me of this, bringing
back an old memory that I had to look up.

A play called "Tamara" -- "the play you experience from room to room."
Debuted in an LA production in 1984, and I so wanted to get up there and see
it but never got the chance to do so. Revolutionary for its time.



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: inline links (Re: Online help access question): From: Chris Despopoulos
RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question): From: mbaker
RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question): From: Janoff, Steven
RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question): From: mbaker
RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question): From: Janoff, Steven
RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question): From: mbaker
RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question): From: Janoff, Steven

Previous by Author: RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question)
Next by Author: RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question)
Previous by Thread: RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question)
Next by Thread: RE: inline links (Re: Online help access question)


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads