Tag Archives: DITA

DITA: Conditional profiling

You can add attributes to elements and then filter your transforms to include any element that has attributes with certain values.

Structured Authoring By For And Or Nor With In the Web

It’s always fun / makes my stomach turn to wake up to a newsletter that starts out saying, “Tom Johnson’s post Structured Authoring Versus the Web triggered a wave of responses across the tech comm community.” I’ve been thinking about that post and discussion (1, 2 , 3). A lot of people have made excellent Continue Reading »

Why Long Topics Are Better for the User

In my previous post, Do Short Topics Make Information More Findable, I argued that shorter topics make it more difficult for users to find information. I ended the post by saying that topics that are more substantial make content more findable. But how big should the topics be? Obviously not the length of a book, Continue Reading »

Do Short Topics Make Information More Findable?

In my last post, which now has more than 80 comments, I noted that authoring with DITA seemed to encourage authors to create a lot of little topics. DITA experts chimed in to say DITA doesn’t constrain users with topic length in their outputs — authors can combine topics as needed. However, one commenter noted that short Continue Reading »

Unconscious Meaning Suggested from the Structure and Shape of Help

I’m continuing to make my way through James Kalbach’s book, Designing Web Navigation. In chapter 2, he says the structure and format of content helps users anticipate the meaning of the content. He writes, The human visual system naturally seeks structure in information, often very rapidly. Scientists refer to this as “pre-attentive” processing. This occurs Continue Reading »

Guest Post: Why I Love Wikis

The following is a guest post by Neal Kaplan, a technical writer at Zuora, Inc. Another post about wikis? Why not! Wikis are great! Just to set the stage, I’ve been a technical writer for a while now, working for software companies in Silicon Valley. (In fact, I often forget that there are technical writers Continue Reading »