Re: Info Mapping : the "7 +/- 2" rule

Subject: Re: Info Mapping : the "7 +/- 2" rule
From: Charlotte Hosking <CHosking -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 08:50:06 -0400

In a message dated 96-09-05 09:27:45 EDT, ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM (Eric J. Ray)

<< Are there ANY studies that apply this theory to
instructional text? I'd even be interested in
anecdotal evidence -- how many of the people on TECHWR-L
read all steps, remember them, then apply them?
How many go one step at a time?

Eric >>

I agree. When following steps, I tend to glance through all the steps to get
a sense of the overall process and then go back and do them step by step.
When creating a procedure though I attempt to keep it in the neighborhood of
7 to 10 steps. If the process really needs 33 steps, I've found it far
better to break it down into smaller subprocesses, clearly introducing each.

One of the real benefits of on-line/intranet hypertext style instructions
(what a mouthful) is the ability to use minimal instructions for the
intermediate or advanced user, but with the click of a button display
detailed instructions for a beginner.

Charlotte Hosking
Clarion Info
(CHosking -at- aol -dot- com)

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