Information Mapping is a trademark methodology by Robert Horn. Their are three major steps in this process he has said.
The article states we need to analyze the text and the audience’s need to make effective decisions in our presentations.There are 6 categories of different types of information:
- Procedure (steps)
- Process description (explanations)
- Structure (descriptions)
- Concept (definitions and examples)
- Principle (rules)
- Fact (physical characteristics)
Then their are four basic principles to guide formatting decisions:
- Chunking: Is all the information broken down into non-divisible chunks?
- Labeling: Are all chunks of information assigned an appropriate label?
- Relevance: Is everything within a chunk of information essential to the audience’s needs?
- Hierarchy: Are hierarchical labels consistently applied to tell readers where they have been and where they are going?
This article I read, spoke about how social media is affecting how we write and communicate and It is affecting everyone’s job. The author states that technical communicators are competing now with everyone on the web and their is no line between author and audience. Technical communicators need to learn to become aware and use things such as wiki’s and blogs to move with technology. He ask’s if taking part of this devalue the contribution of professional writers and communicators.
Recently an Infograph was released called “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” which showed the casualties of the US drone war. It is a visual representation of every strike carried out in Pakistan counting the deaths of civilians, children and others. It was created by a group of people from Pitch Interactive, a data visualization company. This Infograph is a great example of what you can do with technical data to show a major situation that is happening in our time. When you begin to look at the Infograph you can see how using this as a way to portray a message has worked for them. Pitch Interactive is a company who is constantly collecting statistical data for companies such as Esquire, Scientific America, Popular Science and other companies. Those who are interested in Technical Writing, this is a section of that large group and those skills of a technical writer are needed here.
To see the Infograph visit: http://drones.pitchinteractive.com
Pitch Interactive: http://www.pitchinteractive.com/beta/index.php