Taxonomy and folksonomy

The traditional approach in technical information is for the writer and producer to create the metadata, to markup information chunks and topics with keywords and categories. It is not uncommon for information producers to create a category structure, sometimes called a taxonomy or an ontology, and to use the keywords of that structure to characterize […]

Integrating production and consumption

– a slightly long-winded post on the foundations for an integrated design in Substrate –
The heritage in many fields of information systems is to separate production and consumption of digital “content.” Historically, a video would be edited on a dedicated and expensive workstation, with specialized software that required specialized professional skills to operate. It would […]

Detailing the overall interface

The first version of a complete interface sketch for interaction functionality and flow was made in early December. It covers pre-selection and a main interface state focusing on the topic list, from which the main user functions are available:

faceting
searching
sorting
viewing
annotating

The image below shows the main state with a topic selected in the topic list. Facets are […]

Field study on the use of technical information

One of the early activities carried out in the project was to start a field study. The first part, finished in mid October, aimed at making a survey of existing field studies conducted into how organizations and individuals inside organizations use technical information, such as manuals, but also in general how knowledge is produced, documented […]

Detailing dynamic faceting

The next topic for attention in late November was the detailed behavior of the dynamic faceting. The aim was to design a mechanism that was driven by the nature of the contents as much as possible. Faceting in situations where every topic has only one value in each facet was seen as fairly straightforward; we […]

Revised: Focusing on topic lists

The first attempt to take the concept to screen designs was helpful in catalyzing a rather focused discussion in the development team.
The discussion highlighted a range of considerations:

The main result to be shaped by, e.g., faceting should be a list of matching topics, rather than the contents of a specific topic.
Text search is a selection […]

The step to interface screens

Moving on from the three main design concepts, we started developing user-interface screens in early November. The work focused on the second concept (“Flickr”) since it is the one that requires the most specialized interaction components (for annotations, tags, etc.). The aim, however, was to find a treatment that could work across all three concepts […]

Substrate: Where Knowledge Grows

[PROJECT PORTFOLIO] The technical information industry is more or less trapped in a traditional media structure, with technical writers and information architects producing static material that users are expected to consume. MEDEA is working with leading information-logistics company Sigma Kudos in reinventing the media structures of technical information.