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New section on my site: Simplifying complexity

Jan 24, 2018 • simplifying-complexity

In an earlier post on value arguments for tech comm, I mentioned that in 2018, I plan to explore some innovative ways to simplify complexity so that I can deepen the value I provide to users. To host this content, I created a new section on my site called "Simplifying Complexity." So far I've added just one topic there on navigation maps. In the topic, I argue that by allowing users to toggle between micro and macro views of a system, often through embedded workflow maps, you can help users better understand and orient themselves in complex systems.

You can read the post here: Switching between macro and micro views with embedded maps.

The micro-macro principle is as follows:

To help users navigate a complex system, provide a way for users to switch between macro and micro views of the system. One of the easiest techniques to enable this view switching is to embed a map (at the top of each relevant topic) that shows the path to achieving a goal.

You can get to this section by clicking the Complexity button on my main navigation bar.

For the earlier post on deepening value by focusing on complexity, see Part VI: Deepening documentation’s value by simplifying complexity.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include the following technical communication topics: Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, and certificate programs. I'm interested in information design, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.