Every Page is Page OneMark BakerAnalecta Communications Inc.
Tweet „em if you got „em About me @mbakeranalecta About the conference #stc13 About Every Page is Page One #eppo Ab...
Who said… “Learners … often skip over crucialmaterial if it does not address theircurrent task-oriented concern or skipar...
John Carroll The NunrbergFunnel 1990 Users hoppingaround from onesource to anotherdid not start withthe WebBringing Tec...
The sequencing problem Many sequencing problems reside notin the material alone but in thelearner‟s use of it. When peopl...
Eliminate sequence A radical approach to sequencing problems is to tryto eliminate sequence: materials designed to beread...
Radical Then; Mainstream Now The concept of creating unsequencedmaterial was “radical” in 1990 Today, it is the default...
Why “Every Page is Page One?” On the Web, readers arrive at content Via a Google search Via a recommendation in a socia...
John Carroll anticipated this “Escaping these problems andproviding for material to be sensiblyread in any order, necessi...
But … Not every pageworks well aspage oneBringing Tech Comm to the Web 10
Jump into the middle The page is inthe middle ofsomething Reader has toback up to findstart of thethread It may be a“to...
On the Web but Not of the Web Putting a PDF or a tri-pane helpsystem on you Website does notcreate Web-like content. Nat...
Writers in denial Many writers are in denial about thepower of Web search. “too many false hits” “too much stuff to wad...
So why do usersprefer to search the Web?Photo: Steven Straiton/Wikimedia CommonsBringing Tech Comm to the Web 14
Scope Searching the Web is not likesearching the index of one book It is like searching the index of everybook, letter, ...
The Long Tail Many low demanditems account for asmuch total demandas a few highdemand items. Amazon makes a lotof money ...
The Long TailBringing Tech Comm to the Web 17
Manual is full of holes Manual has only highdemand items Users often needspecific items fromthe low demand set They don...
Information ForagingPhoto: Amanda Lea, Wikimedia CommonsBringing Tech Comm to the Web 19
Information foraging “Information foraging predicts that theeasier it is to find good patches, thequicker users will leav...
Information snacking The growth of always-on broadbandconnections also encourages this trend towardshorter visits. With d...
Experience vs. credentials“Now the technology letsyou find experiencedpeople as easily ascredentialed ones.”David Weinberg...
Collegiality“Links are the visible manifestation ofthe author giving up any claim tocompleteness or even sufficiency; link...
Include it all. Filter is afterward.“We seem to be making a culturalchoice---with our new infrastructuresthumb heavily on ...
Filter it afterward The Web is a filter We can filter it for ourselves Google And with our friends LinkedIn Facebook...
Filter it sociallyBringing Tech Comm to the Web 26
Authority is shifting“If our social networks are ournew filters, then authority isshifting from experts infaraway offices ...
Individual journey Readers make their individual journeythrough a Web of information Our content is one resource they ma...
How I got hereBringing Tech Comm to the Web 29
Shared vehicles; unique trips Many different vehicles Each functions independently I chose the sequence to create auniq...
No guided tour Readers are self directed We have always known most readersdon‟t take the guided tour They skip and scan...
The book model Books provide the guided tour asprimary means Linear book Support self-guided as secondarymeans Scanabl...
The EPPO model EPPO topics support self-guided asprimary means Every pages works as page one Works with search, social ...
At the crossroads Try to reclaim the order and certaintyof the book world, or cooperate in thelinked ecology of the web w...
EXAMPLESBringing Tech Comm to the Web 35
Recipe Black ForestHam andGruyère FrittataBringing Tech Comm to the Web 36
Car review Subaru Forrester2003-2008reviewBringing Tech Comm to the Web 37
Technical article Create RESTapplications withthe Slim micro-frameworkBringing Tech Comm to the Web 38
Ornithology Blue-footedBoobyBringing Tech Comm to the Web 39
Encyclopedia article OttawaBringing Tech Comm to the Web 40
Stack Overflow Python shelveOutOfMemoryerrorBringing Tech Comm to the Web 41
CHARACTERISTICS OFEPPO TOPICSBringing Tech Comm to the Web 42
Self Contained No linear dependencies Never assumes you have read X May assume you know X May require different types ...
Establish Context Reader may arrive from anywhere Search and links may be imprecise Allow the reader to get their beari...
Specific Limited Purpose Must have a clear idea of the purposeit fulfills for the reader Purpose must be specific Can‟t...
Stay on one level Books tend to change levels Topics support readers choosing theirown path Readers decide when they wa...
Conform to type Topics on a common subject tend tohave a similar pattern Recipes Encyclopedia articles on cities Car r...
Assume reader is qualified Books designed as sole source fordiverse audience Write for the least qualified reader Often...
Narrative minim Narrative necessary to understanding Can be constructed at differentlengths Places facts into a busines...
Link Richly Books are designed for linear reading Links may be considered a distraction Allow reader to deviate from wr...
Topics and Topic Sets Need many topics to cover a largesubject area Create topic sets, not books Support random entry ...
The Book Every Page is Page One:Topic-based Writingfor Technical Communication and the Web This fall from XML Press htt...
Questions? Contact information Mark Baker Analecta Communications Inc. mbaker@analecta.com Twitter: @mbakeranalecta ...
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Every page is page one baker

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Presentation on Every Page is Page One information design from the 2013 STC Summit.

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Every page is page one baker

  1. 1. Every Page is Page OneMark BakerAnalecta Communications Inc.
  2. 2. Tweet „em if you got „em About me @mbakeranalecta About the conference #stc13 About Every Page is Page One #eppo About this session #stc13eppoBringing Tech Comm to the Web 2
  3. 3. Who said… “Learners … often skip over crucialmaterial if it does not address theircurrent task-oriented concern or skiparound among severalmanuals, composing their own ersatzinstructional procedure on the fly.”Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 3
  4. 4. John Carroll The NunrbergFunnel 1990 Users hoppingaround from onesource to anotherdid not start withthe WebBringing Tech Comm to the Web 4
  5. 5. The sequencing problem Many sequencing problems reside notin the material alone but in thelearner‟s use of it. When people referto instruction opportunistically insupport of their own goal-directedactivities, it becomes difficult orimpossible to predict what sequencingwill be appropriate…John Carroll, The Nurnberg Funnel, 1990Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 5
  6. 6. Eliminate sequence A radical approach to sequencing problems is to tryto eliminate sequence: materials designed to beread in any order cannot be read in the wrongorder. … The orderly accumulation of prerequisiteskill and understanding that can be assumed whenmaterial is embedded in a sequenced curriculumcannot be assumed if learners use the material inany order they wish. But, of course, this is justwhat learners do anyway and is one of the keyreasons that materials that depend on carefullysequenced prerequisites fail.John Carroll, The Nurnberg Funnel, 1990Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 6
  7. 7. Radical Then; Mainstream Now The concept of creating unsequencedmaterial was “radical” in 1990 Today, it is the default The Web is not sequenced Every Page is Page OneBringing Tech Comm to the Web 7
  8. 8. Why “Every Page is Page One?” On the Web, readers arrive at content Via a Google search Via a recommendation in a socialnetwork Via a link from another page There is no continuity from wherethey were before. Every link leads to a new page oneBringing Tech Comm to the Web 8
  9. 9. John Carroll anticipated this “Escaping these problems andproviding for material to be sensiblyread in any order, necessitates adifferent approach to organizinginstruction. It requires a high degreeof modularity, a structure of smallself-contained units.”Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 9
  10. 10. But … Not every pageworks well aspage oneBringing Tech Comm to the Web 10
  11. 11. Jump into the middle The page is inthe middle ofsomething Reader has toback up to findstart of thethread It may be a“topic,” but itassumessequenceBringing Tech Comm to the Web 11
  12. 12. On the Web but Not of the Web Putting a PDF or a tri-pane helpsystem on you Website does notcreate Web-like content. Native Web content does not look likethis. Native Web content is not sequential Readers don‟t stick to one site. Theyhop around the whole WebBringing Tech Comm to the Web 12
  13. 13. Writers in denial Many writers are in denial about thepower of Web search. “too many false hits” “too much stuff to wade through” “takes too long to find things” “content is unreliable” “easier to find things in a book with awell prepared index”Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 13
  14. 14. So why do usersprefer to search the Web?Photo: Steven Straiton/Wikimedia CommonsBringing Tech Comm to the Web 14
  15. 15. Scope Searching the Web is not likesearching the index of one book It is like searching the index of everybook, letter, article, and conversationin the world Index search only begins when youhave found the right book Finding the right book is expensiveBringing Tech Comm to the Web 15
  16. 16. The Long Tail Many low demanditems account for asmuch total demandas a few highdemand items. Amazon makes a lotof money from thelong tail of itemsregular stores can‟tstockBringing Tech Comm to the Web 16
  17. 17. The Long TailBringing Tech Comm to the Web 17
  18. 18. Manual is full of holes Manual has only highdemand items Users often needspecific items fromthe low demand set They don‟t knowwhich items are lowdemand The Web has it allBringing Tech Comm to the Web 18
  19. 19. Information ForagingPhoto: Amanda Lea, Wikimedia CommonsBringing Tech Comm to the Web 19
  20. 20. Information foraging “Information foraging predicts that theeasier it is to find good patches, thequicker users will leave a patch.Thus, the better search engines get athighlighting quality sites, the less timeusers will spend on any one site.”Jakob Nielsen‟s Alertbox: June 30, 2003Information Foraging:Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site FasterBringing Tech Comm to the Web 20
  21. 21. Information snacking The growth of always-on broadbandconnections also encourages this trend towardshorter visits. With dial-up, connecting to theInternet is somewhat difficult, and usersmainly do it in big time chunks. Incontrast, always-on connections encourageinformation snacking , where users go onlinebriefly, looking for quick answers.Jakob Nielsen‟s Alertbox: June 30, 2003Information Foraging:Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site FasterBringing Tech Comm to the Web 21
  22. 22. Experience vs. credentials“Now the technology letsyou find experiencedpeople as easily ascredentialed ones.”David Weinberger: To Big to KnowBringing Tech Comm to the Web 22
  23. 23. Collegiality“Links are the visible manifestation ofthe author giving up any claim tocompleteness or even sufficiency; linksinvite the reader to browse the networkin which the work is enmeshed, anacknowledgement that thinking issomething that we do together.”David Weinberger: To Big to KnowBringing Tech Comm to the Web 23
  24. 24. Include it all. Filter is afterward.“We seem to be making a culturalchoice---with our new infrastructuresthumb heavily on the scale---to preferto start with abundance rather thancuration. Include it all. Filter itafterward. Even then, the filters donot remove anything; they filterforward, not out.”David Weinberger: To Big to KnowBringing Tech Comm to the Web 24
  25. 25. Filter it afterward The Web is a filter We can filter it for ourselves Google And with our friends LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Etc.Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 25
  26. 26. Filter it sociallyBringing Tech Comm to the Web 26
  27. 27. Authority is shifting“If our social networks are ournew filters, then authority isshifting from experts infaraway offices to the networkof people we know, like, andrespect.”Too Big to KnowBringing Tech Comm to the Web 27
  28. 28. Individual journey Readers make their individual journeythrough a Web of information Our content is one resource they mayvisit on that journey But wherever they enter ourcontent, it should act as page oneBringing Tech Comm to the Web 28
  29. 29. How I got hereBringing Tech Comm to the Web 29
  30. 30. Shared vehicles; unique trips Many different vehicles Each functions independently I chose the sequence to create aunique journey The airplane design does not dependon my arriving by taxi The subway works the same if I takethe stairs, not the escalatorBringing Tech Comm to the Web 30
  31. 31. No guided tour Readers are self directed We have always known most readersdon‟t take the guided tour They skip and scan and look stuff up Now they can self direct across theentire Web To serve them, provide EPPO topicsBringing Tech Comm to the Web 31
  32. 32. The book model Books provide the guided tour asprimary means Linear book Support self-guided as secondarymeans Scanable subheads IndexBringing Tech Comm to the Web 32
  33. 33. The EPPO model EPPO topics support self-guided asprimary means Every pages works as page one Works with search, social curation Works with external resources Can still provide a guided tour as asecondary means Ordered topic collections Can include external resourcesBringing Tech Comm to the Web 33
  34. 34. At the crossroads Try to reclaim the order and certaintyof the book world, or cooperate in thelinked ecology of the web with itssocial approach to authority and itsfuzzy edges?Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 34
  35. 35. EXAMPLESBringing Tech Comm to the Web 35
  36. 36. Recipe Black ForestHam andGruyère FrittataBringing Tech Comm to the Web 36
  37. 37. Car review Subaru Forrester2003-2008reviewBringing Tech Comm to the Web 37
  38. 38. Technical article Create RESTapplications withthe Slim micro-frameworkBringing Tech Comm to the Web 38
  39. 39. Ornithology Blue-footedBoobyBringing Tech Comm to the Web 39
  40. 40. Encyclopedia article OttawaBringing Tech Comm to the Web 40
  41. 41. Stack Overflow Python shelveOutOfMemoryerrorBringing Tech Comm to the Web 41
  42. 42. CHARACTERISTICS OFEPPO TOPICSBringing Tech Comm to the Web 42
  43. 43. Self Contained No linear dependencies Never assumes you have read X May assume you know X May require different types ofinformation “blocks”Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 43
  44. 44. Establish Context Reader may arrive from anywhere Search and links may be imprecise Allow the reader to get their bearingsquickly Navigable context If they are a little off, help them getwhere they should beBringing Tech Comm to the Web 44
  45. 45. Specific Limited Purpose Must have a clear idea of the purposeit fulfills for the reader Purpose must be specific Can‟t be self contained or establishcontext if purpose not specific Purpose must be limited One vehicle in a network the readernavigates for themselves Do one thing; do it wellBringing Tech Comm to the Web 45
  46. 46. Stay on one level Books tend to change levels Topics support readers choosing theirown path Readers decide when they want bigpicture or gritty detail Readers change levels by changingtopics Topics stay on one levelBringing Tech Comm to the Web 46
  47. 47. Conform to type Topics on a common subject tend tohave a similar pattern Recipes Encyclopedia articles on cities Car reviews Ornithology Product comparisons Technical articles 1 2 3 4Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 47
  48. 48. Assume reader is qualified Books designed as sole source fordiverse audience Write for the least qualified reader Often annoying for experienced reader Topics are one stop in reader‟s self-directed journey If reader is not qualified, they canchoose other topics to get qualifiedBringing Tech Comm to the Web 48
  49. 49. Narrative minim Narrative necessary to understanding Can be constructed at differentlengths Places facts into a business or lifecontext Supports decision making required foractionBringing Tech Comm to the Web 49
  50. 50. Link Richly Books are designed for linear reading Links may be considered a distraction Allow reader to deviate from writer‟splanned course Topics are for self directed readers Make context navigable Enable reader to qualify themselves Enable switching levels Enable onward journeyBringing Tech Comm to the Web 50
  51. 51. Topics and Topic Sets Need many topics to cover a largesubject area Create topic sets, not books Support random entry Establish type to ensure completenessand conformance to purpose Support reader choice within your set Make them work on the WebBringing Tech Comm to the Web 51
  52. 52. The Book Every Page is Page One:Topic-based Writingfor Technical Communication and the Web This fall from XML Press http://xmlpress.net/publications/eppo/ Yes, I acknowledge the irony! There is still a place for books But that‟s another presentation Outline is online on my blog http://everypageispageone.com/2013/05/02/book-outline-every-page-is-page-one/ Comment for a chance to win a copy of the bookBringing Tech Comm to the Web 52
  53. 53. Questions? Contact information Mark Baker Analecta Communications Inc. mbaker@analecta.com Twitter: @mbakeranalecta Company: http://analecta.com Blog: http://everypageispageone.com Book: http://xmlpress.net/publications/eppo/Bringing Tech Comm to the Web 53

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