Re: FW: What alternatives are there to "Information Mapping"?

Subject: Re: FW: What alternatives are there to "Information Mapping"?
From: Christine Pellar-Kosbar <chrispk -at- merit -dot- edu>
To: Kathleen Kuvinka <kkuvinka -at- epicor -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 08:39:54 -0500


Kathleen Kuvinka wrote:

> Maybe if you took an extra, oh, 2 seconds you could have read the table
> headings, too. That way it would have taken you 5 seconds to find the
> correct info, still an improvement.

But that isn't the point, if I understood the original poster. The point is
that people don't take that extra two seconds because they believe they have the
correct answer. If that's true, we as tech writers need to look at table
formats very closely to make sure the quick answer *is* the right answer.

Nothing is worse (in tech writing) than leading the reader astray. If the
reader acts on misinformation, we have not done our job. Lousy grammar or badly
organized sections normally might cause a reader become distracted and possibly
waste time, which, of course, isn't good. But if the
grammar/format/organization is so bad that the reader has wrong information and
thinks she has right information -- that's the worst. That's first priority.

So, the criticism that the original poster was making against Information
Mapping is that it does not necessarily address this first priority. Correct?

Christine Pellar-Kosbar

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