Re: Information Mapping

Subject: Re: Information Mapping
From: Bill Bledsoe <bill -at- ENVISION -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 16:15:09 -0500

Tim,

You mention you've used the methodology... what class did you take? When?
Do you use their tools?

You also mention that the documents are unreadible at a certain length.
Hmmm, what long Info Mapped documents have you read?

Finally, if you notice, Horn's book isn't really info mapped is it. Why do
suppose that is? Well... its because even HE realizes that it is not for
everything.

I could go on, but I've got some mapping to do! I like it, my company
likes it, and so far our clients love it. That's all I can say I guess.

See my earlier post about your objections to it being dull, unimaginitive
and restrictive. It sounds like you fit my view of the artisan tech comm
to a T.

regards,
-------------------------------------------------------
Bill Bledsoe. |
Technical Communicator | "I had a recent rhinoscopy
SQA MGR/Process Lead | so I could smell every
Envision Solutions | recipe"
bill -at- envision -dot- com | Adrian Belew/The Bears
or |
intlidox -at- anet-stl -dot- net |
-------------------------------------------------------



----------
From: Tim Altom[SMTP:taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET]
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 1996 2:37 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Information Mapping

At 01:15 PM 8/29/96 -0500, you wrote:

<snipped fury about methodology, but see sample below>

>To pick on Information Mapping, via criticizing only one of the 7
>principles, is really not fair to the methodology, and really pretty
>anti-productive. For example, Chunking depends upon Relevance, which
>"glues" chunks together into usable, manageable units of information.


A peeve I have about Info Mapping is that it generates just such
nonsensical
exchanges, because it focuses debate not on the user or the subject, but on
Horn's concepts of chunking, blocks, and so forth. These concepts are
embodied in every form of good tech doc, but Horn insists that it be
codified. He has to insist. Otherwise he doesn't have a product. The result
is that True Believers trade shots with True Skeptics rather than asking if
the concepts serve the end. Info Mapping, like any other rigid methodology,
contains the danger of giving so much attention to the map that you lose
sight of the road. I've used the methodology, but rarely. It seems to be
most popular in large companies. Good tech doc'ers use the concepts
intuitively anyway, although the end product doesn't have the familiar
Horn-blessed formatting. I find Info Mapping restrictive, dull, repetitive,
unimaginative, and bland. It's most acceptable for references and short
task-driven sections. For longer, content-driven or training materials,
it's
horrific. I've pointed out to people many times that if the methodology was
the answer to every reader's prayer that we'd all be reading third-party
computer books in good Info Mapping style. We don't, because it's horrible
to read. But that's a question of usability, not of adherence to the style.



Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support

http://www.simplywritten.com/simply

TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-

TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-



Previous by Author: Re: Information Mapping (Long)
Next by Author: Re: Information Mapping
Previous by Thread: Re: Information Mapping
Next by Thread: Re: Information Mapping


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

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads