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The findability category includes posts that relate to discoverability, search, organization, and other issues related to how to arrange, present, and navigate through content. The goal of findability is to allow users to find the content they're looking for. Strategies for findability might involve chunking up content, arranging content in a progressive information display, or arranging content in a more visible way.

The following content is in the findability category:

How to find academic research to back up your tech comm decisions

Write the Docs Podcast episode 31: Site search, with Peter Levan

Write the Docs Podcast episode 7: Let The Robots Do The Work

Recording of my WTD Portland 2017 presentation on Building navigation for your doc site -- 5 best practices

Write the Docs Podcast episode 6: Metadata and UI copy

Slides for Write the Docs Portland presentation on doc navigation best practices

Write the Docs Podcast episode 5: Where do we belong?

Upcoming 2017 Write the Docs Conference in Portland

Recording of User-Centered Design Principles for Organizing Documentation

Zooming out and in with navigation

Reviewing content in DITA versus Jekyll

Using metadata to control online navigation through portlets

Single-page docs versus "Click Insanity"

Recording of STC Berkeley presentation on why users can't find answers in help

DITA's output does not require separation of tasks from concepts

WordPress tip: Create a series of posts

Researching the right keywords (search engine optimization)

Single sourcing and duplicate content (search engine optimization)

Introduction, frames, iframes, and tech comm tools (search engine optimization)

Collapsible header sections -- more problematic than helpful

A few things tech writers frequently say: Videos tedious, topics best when short, people just use Google, and more

Recording and slides for "Why users can't find answers in help" presentation to STC Silicon Valley

My Upcoming Presentation at the STC Silicon Valley Chapter -- "Why Users Can't Find Answers to Their Questions in Help Content"

Learning How to Communicate Visually in Documentation

How to Search Engine Optimize (SEO) Your Help Documentation

Narrative Workflow Topics: Helping Users Connect the Dots Among Topics

Creating Good Content Requires Cross-Department Collaboration

Sticking with Obvious Information Versus Creating Information that Users Need

Subheadings: Perhaps the Most Useful Technique in Technical Writing

Examples Are a Primary Way That Complicated Concepts Become Clear

Interactive Poll: Why Can't Users Find Answers to Their Questions in Help?

Why I Test Nearly Everything

When Organizing Big Data Content, It's Okay To Be Messy

7 Ways to Learn Difficult Subjects in Order to Write Useful Content

Finding a Starting Point: Answering Questions or Addressing Purpose?

How do you answer every user's question?

What Have Been My Most Successful Experiences in Connecting Help Material with Users?

Notes from Future of Technical Communication Webinar

Recording of "Making Content More Findable When Users Browse and Search" (UA Europe Presentation)

Structured Authoring By For And Or Nor With In the Web

Reader Question: How Do I Restrict Content by Role in the Same Output?

Can Help Content Have Recognizable Facets?

Faceted Search and Query Reformulation

On Metadata and Help Content

Moving Beyond the TOC in Organizing Help Content -- Illustrated Edition

What Does Content Re-Use Look Like in a Web CMS?

Is Structured Authoring (like DITA) a Good Fit for Publishing on a Website?

Why Long Topics Are Better for the User

Do Short Topics Make Information More Findable?

Does DITA Encourage Authors to Fragment Information into a Million Little Pieces?

Why Does Content Become Disorganized?

Sample Expand and Collapse Code with Twisting Buttons

Evaluating the Usability of Collapsible Sections (or jQuery's Content Toggle)

How to Organize Page-Level Content

Two Competing Help Models: One-Stop Shopping or Specialized Stores?

Single Sourcing and Redundancy

Import DITA Webhelp Output into WordPress

Moving Between the Agora and the Desert

7 Ways to Increase Flare's Search Engine Optimization in Google's Results

Knowledge Has a New Shape, and It's Not the Book

Podcast: Include It All, Filter It Afterwards -- Interview with Mark Baker

What Does "Every Page Is Page One" and "Include It All, Filter It Afterward" Mean?

Incorporating Learning into Tech Comm Deliverables

The Blame Game of RTFM

Blending Tech Comm with Support

Using the Proximity Principle to Design Online Help Navigation

Why Glossaries Help Users Find Information

Applying Progressive Information Disclosure to Online Help Navigation

Misconceptions about Topic-Based Authoring

The Importance of Contextual Navigation, or Cross References in Topics

Unconscious Meaning Suggested from the Structure and Shape of Help

Why Do We Need Navigation At All?

Taxonomy, Metadata, and Search: Notes from Seth Earley's Confab Workshop

Returning to Findability

Writing User-Centered Documentation, or, My Best Days as a Technical Writer

Webinar Recording -- Organizing Help Content: Breaking Out of Topic-Based Hierarchies

The "Home Depot Model" of Findability, or, Social Search

Looking at Breadcrumbs in a New Way

Using Tags to Increase Findability

Slides from STC Webinar on Organizing Content (Findability)

My STC Webinar on Organizing Content -- This Thursday at 4pm EST

Using Treejack as a Method for Evaluating Your Help's Navigation

Customizing the "No Results Found" Page with Helpful Wayfinding Tips

"One Day I'm Going to Figure Out the Solution to Help..."

Diverging Directions for Tech Comm: Social Media or Structured Authoring

Where Topic-Based Authoring Fails: End-to-End Scenarios

Podcast: Organizing Help Content: Breaking Out of Topic-based Hierarchies

Examples of Help Systems that Provide Users with Multiple Entry Points?

Mooer's Law and Findability

A Paradox of Navigation Metaphors for the Web

Topic Chunking and The Broken Alarm Clock

The Importance of Chunking for Sorting

Book Review: Everything is Miscellaneous, by David Weinberger

Organizing Help Content: Breaking Out of Topic-Based Hierarchies

Podcast: A Practical Guide to Information Architecture, with Donna Spencer

The Real Source of Findability

Findability and The Information Paradox

"Known Limitations": Making the Negative Space of Help Content a Little More Explicit

Eight Defining Questions that Shape Content Organization [Organizing Content #29]

Organizing Content for Constructivist Learning [Organizing Content #28]

Is Rhetoric Relevant? Considering the "Message in Context" [Organizing Content #27]

Why Learning Software Is So Hard, and Organizing Content into Levels [Organizing Content #26]

Organizing for Learnability [Organizing Content #25]

Best Practices for Writing Interface Text [Organizing Content #24]

The Interface Is Text [Organizing Content #23]

The Technical Writer as an Outsider: How Ambitious Are You? [Organizing Content #22]

Principles for Organizing Print Material [Organizing Content #21]

Relying on the Wisdom of the Crowds with Help Authoring [Organizing Content #20]

Emergence [Organizing Content #19]

Separating Basic from Advanced Topics: How Twitter Organizes Their Help [Organizing Content #18]

Organizing Content as Story [Organizing Content #17]

Can Blogs Work as a Web Platform for Help? [Organizing Content 16]

Faulty Assumptions About the Scope of Help Content? [Organizing Content 15]

The Semantic Web and Content Findability: Interview with Patrick Warren [Organizing Content 14]

Using Mediawiki Templates to Organize Content [Organizing Content 13]

From Help Authoring Tools to Web Tools, Especially Wikis [Organizing Content 12]

Search Engine Optimizing Your Help Content for Google [Organizing Content 11]

Figuring Out Search Algorithms [Organizing Content 10]

Browse Versus Search: Stumbling into the Unknown Unknown [Organizing Content 9]

Second-Level Faceted Navigation [Organizing Content 8]

Implementing Faceted Classification/Search with a Help Authoring Tool [Organizing Content 7]

Faceted Classification, Faceted Search [Organizing Content 6]

Topic-Based, Hierarchical Navigation [Organizing Content 5]

Imposing Order Versus Observing Order [Organizing Content 4]

Things Fall Apart, The Centre Cannot Hold [Organizing Content 3]

Introducing Project Swordfish [Organizing Content 2]

New Series: Organizing Content [Organizing Content 1]

My Love Affair with Drop-Down Hotspots Ends

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.

If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the tech comm, be sure to subscribe to email updates below. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.