Information Mapping

Subject: Information Mapping
From: lpraderio <lpraderi -at- CLIFF -dot- WHOI -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1993 13:54:45 EDT

---------------------------- Forwarded with Changes ---------------------------
From: MAILER-DAEMON at WHOInet_Post_Office
Date: 3/25/93 9:53AM
To: lpraderio at Post_Office_One
Subject: Returned mail

Hello Laura,

In your message you asked:

> I need to know what Information Mapping is? (I probably should as a tech
> communicator-but don't.) And how you'd use it at work, while writing or
> whatever?

> Thanks.

> Laura Praderio
> Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
> lpraderio -at- whoi -dot- edu

In the responses to your question, I notice that alot of people have
fairly negative images of Information I just wanted
to put in my two cents.

I went through an Information Mapping Seminar a couple of years ago.
What I found was that it basically emphasized PROCESS....(NOT form,
as some people seem to believe). The idea is that you first identify
the type of information that you are trying to communicate.
One of the positive side effects include the fact
that you eliminate redundancy (because you take the time to think
about what it is you are trying to do).

Once you identify what it is you are trying to SAY, there are a number
of suggestions as to HOW that TYPE of information is best communicated.
The program also has guidelines for the length of paragraphs,
etc..... From what I can tell, these suggestions are consistent
with the results of usability studies that have been going on over
the last several years.

People who argue that Information Mapping is distracting and
includes too many graphics have (in my opinion) missed the point -
Information Mapping is NOT about formatting. If a format is not
working - try something else....or THINK about it. WHY isn't it
working? Could (you) have possibly misidentified the information you
are working with?

Information Mapping is not earth-shattering. My experience is that in
reinforces good writing (and guides you to write well). It is another
tool that we can use. I'm willing to bet that many good writers already
employ the basic principles of Information Mapping but call it something
else. In the end I don't think it really matters what you call it.

Good luck and have fun,


P.S. I don't know how to post to the mailing list - feel free to
do so if you want to.

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