Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I've created a new term, chinking, to mean:
  • Breaking a topic into atomic chunks and then making the user get to them through individual links. Also,
  • Chunking these mini-links into a page of virtually nothing but links (typically introduced with an anemic stem sentence)

Essentially, it's Information Mapping as practiced on the planet Bizzarro.

Structured writing approaches, such as Information Mapping and DITA, assert that a topic should be self contained. That means that it has to have enough depth and breadth to satisfy a reasonable need for information. Some user assistance writers take modularity to too granular a level and thus undermine the ability for a topic to stand on its own.

Chunking good.

Chinking bad.

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