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Document Usability, Pt. 6: INDEXES as a Solution

October 14, 2015
A portion of the index in the 2013 Master Plan for the East Bay Regional Parks District

A portion of the index for the 2013 Master Plan (East Bay Regional Parks District)

This post follows the ongoing discussion on usability solutions for planning, government and business documentation.

In the last post on usability, Usability Pt. 5: GLOSSARIES, we continued our discussion of solutions to enhance and maximize the usability of documentation in government and business.

From an overall standpoint, I believe one of the primary goals in government documentation involves looking at new and innovative ways to improve usability and the user experience, and some of those ways involve adding usability features to the documents.

Now, in this 6th installment on INDEXES, we move onto the fun part. (and my favorite!)

The power of the index

Most readers are familiar with indexes, but unaware of Read more…

Our ongoing Usability discussion continues with the “Solution Series”

September 28, 2015
finger-pointing-image

This is a navigation post for the ongoing discussion on usability, and the bearing it has on documentation in government and business.

The discussion began with Document Usability, Pt 1: An Introduction for Government & Business, and continued with Document Usability, Pt. 2: What Exactly is “Usability?” to help break things down and give it clearer definition. Then Document Usability, Pt. 3: Identifying the Challenges for Government & Business discussed the challenges and problems with documentation that are pandemic in business and government today.

The part of the series that begins finding solutions has begun, beginning with Document Usability, Pt. 4: ABSTRACTS. The next post, Document Usability, Pt. 5: GLOSSARIES follows and Document Usability, Pt. 6: INDEXES is the latest discussion on the most powerful usability feature. In the coming weeks a few more usability features for documentation will be discussed.

My intention is to focus on town planning — not only because it represents Read more…

A Folk Hero and a Conductor: Finally Meeting #10

November 18, 2015
Zorn1

Jim Zorn has been a household name wherever I’ve lived since I was about the age of eight or nine.

For those of you who don’t follow football or the NFL, Zorn was the first quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks franchise, and emerged as such in its first training camp in the summer of 1976….a unique left-handed quarterback with a funny last name….and I can relate, because I happen to also be a lefty with a funny last name.

But I’m not a professional football player, in case you were wondering. I write indexes for technical documents….although I did play lacrosse for a very brief time in college.

Anyhow, those who were following the Hawks at the time knew him as the front end of a dynamic passing combination with wide receiver Steve Largent, and together they formed one of the most formidable passing duos in the latter 70s NFL over a span of four or five years.

I’m going to discuss Zorn’s football days with the team, and then morph things to the more personal side of this story….and finally meeting with this guy and our exchange.

In those fledgling days of the team, “Zorn to Largent” became a Read more…

Document Usability, Pt. 5: GLOSSARIES as a Solution

October 5, 2015
glossary-image1

This post follows the ongoing discussion on usability solutions for planning, government and business documentation.

An examination of solutions began last week in Document Usability, Pt. 4 when we discussed abstracts. To access all the components of this usability discussion, go to the navigation post on the series. As the “Solution Series” rolls out over a span of a few weeks, there is coverage for Read more…

Document Usability, Pt. 4: ABSTRACTS as a Solution

September 27, 2015
document-image1

With the ongoing discussion on usability, we left off with Document Usability, Pt. 3 in the last segment.

In that post, various challenges and trappings for government and business documentation were identified….so let’s identify some solutions with Abstracts. As the “Solution Series” rolls out over the next few weeks, I’ll cover each usability feature that plays a critical role in easing the navigability of complex documentation for an audience, whether they’re laying eyes on it for the first time or a regular user.

From an overall standpoint, I believe one of the primary goals in government documentation involves looking at new and innovative ways to improve Read more…

THW&I presents “Usability for Planners” & “Counter Culture” in Bremerton

September 26, 2015
The Kitsap Conference Center over looks the ferry terminal in Bremerton

The Kitsap Conference Center overlooks the busy ferry terminal in Bremerton, WA

Yesterday was a busy day!

I hosted two morning workshops at the WA APA Peninsula section conference at the Kistsap Conference Center in Bremerton, Washington. The workshops are an ongoing series that I will be bringing to future planning gatherings.

Let’s begin with “Usability for Planners: Bringing Your Plans and Codes to Life!” This presentation focuses on how to make plans, codes, and in-house government documents more usable and interactive. It identifies Read more…

Planning and a Patient Public: Anticipating the New Seattle Waterfront

July 18, 2015
highway_removal_moses_16

Bertha on the move again? It appears to be finally happening.

After lots of stalled action on renewing Seattle’s waterfront (with the Bertha faux pas that went on, and on, and on….), part of the process of replacing a double-Decker swine of a freeway that’s orphaned and compromised the city’s waterfront for decades — literally less than three months into the Eisenhower presidency in April 1953 — there’s hope for progress on the horizon.

Read more…

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