How to Create a Site Where Users Can Actually Find Information — Interview with Thom Haller

Thom Haller, information architect and director of the Center for Plain Language, talks about how to create a site where users can actually find the information they’re looking for.

Specific topics in this podcast include:

  • The GECKO method (Gather, Evaluate, Chunk, Know, Optimize) for organizing content for websites
  • Arranging information based on user tasks
  • Clarity traps such as familiarity and clutter
  • Measuring the success of a well-architected site
  • Case study with plainlanguage.gov
  • Thom also talks about how the use of Plain Language helped the state of Washington collect an extra $800,000 in revenue.

In addition to his duties at the Center for Plain Language, Thom also teaches Information Design at the University of Maryland and Information Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

To learn more about Thom, visit the following sites:

You can contact Thom at thom@thomhaller.com. You can also comment on this podcast by using the comment feature below, or by linking to this post in your own blog post.

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for The 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), API documentation (code examples, programming), and web publishing (web platforms, interactivity) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS or by email. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.