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Inserting a cross-reference "choose a target" UI question

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Newbie

Inserting a cross-reference "choose a target" UI question

Do your authors prefer a list, table, or tree view of potential targets for
cross references? Does it vary depending on task?

--
Paul Nagai
Tags (2)
5 REPLIES 5
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Inserting a cross-reference "choose a target" UI question

Hi Paul--



I'd be fascinated to find out if anyone has actually tested this, by
offering more than one option and checking which produces the best user
experience. I fear that most writers have only ever had exposure to one
of these options, and thus would have trouble articulating a meaningful
preference. (When you ask someone if they would prefer something they've
never tried, you are essentially asking them to make a prediction, which
may or may not be accurate.)



Is there any chance you could do some proper UX testing to see how they
do using each of the options? Or maybe you could provide all three
options and let authors choose their view via a tabbed interface or some
other mechanism?



--Clay



Clay Helberg

Senior Consultant



TerraXML

1380 Forest Park Circle, Suite 100

Lafayette, CO 80027
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Inserting a cross-reference "choose a target" UI question

Does the number of potential targets have a bearing in choosing the preferred method?

Our documents use a 'part.section.subsection.article.sentence.clause.subclause' number scheme. Our authors initially asked for a list but changed their minds because of the size of the list, up to approx. 8,000 entries in our large books. We finally ended up implementing an external tool that allows them to type in the target number and returns the corresponding id value for them to copy/paste into the refid attribute.

That's more overhead for me, keeping the tool 'data' current, but less time for the authors. Since they out-number me by 20 to 1...

David

David S. Taylor

Project Manager, Structured Information
Production and Marketing | Building Regulations | NRC Construction
Building M-23A, Room 114 | 1200 Montreal Road | Ottawa, ON | K1A 0R6
Telephone: 613-990-2731 | Fax: 613-952-4040
David.S.Taylor@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca<">mailto:David.S.Taylor@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca>


Highlighted

Inserting a cross-reference "choose a target" UI question

I do suspect target count is important. If I'm linking to a target in the
content I'm editing (likely a smallish, manageable chunk), then a simple
list or table seems desirable. If I'm linking to a target not present in
the content I'm editing, then I will want a tree representing the possible
targets for the entire document.

I didn't mention the possibility of a database (multiple lists/tables
separated by target type) but I guess that's relevant too. But table
titles, for example, are repeated and differentiating / providing context
becomes complex or not-usable without bringing yourself back to a tree ...
anyhow.

But ... those are my preferences ... but I neither author nor think like an
author in many cases so ...

Clay: UX Testing. I like it. I don't ever get to do it. I have had several
conversations over the last few whiles about "telemetry" as one of my
industry pals calls it ... programmatic monitoring of user and application
behavior. Logging. Counting. Whatever you want to call it. That might be
fun (and smart) to try and build into SOMEthing I'm working on. My buddy
uses it when he can to be able to provide evidence to engineering (he's in
support) about where the code is generating the most customer
calls/knowledgebase searches.

David: How do you keep your data current? Do you have agreed upon "linkbase
refresh" points in the authoring cycles? Or is it something authors request
when needed? Or do you run a nightly job? Or some other strategy?


On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM, Taylor, David S. <
david.s.taylor@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca> wrote:

> Does the number of potential targets have a bearing in choosing the
> preferred method?****
>
> ** **
>
> Our documents use a
> 'part.section.subsection.article.sentence.clause.subclause' number scheme.
> Our authors initially asked for a list but changed their minds because of
> the size of the list, up to approx. 8,000 entries in our large books. We
> finally ended up implementing an external tool that allows them to type in
> the target number and returns the corresponding id value for them to
> copy/paste into the refid attribute.****
>
> ** **
>
> That's more overhead for me, keeping the tool 'data' current, but less
> time for the authors. Since they out-number me by 20 to 1…****
>
> ** **
>
> David****
>
> ** **
>
> *David S. Taylor*
>
>
> *Project Manager, *Structured Information
> Production and Marketing | Building Regulations | *NRC Construction*****
>
> Building M-23A, Room 114 | 1200 Montreal Road | Ottawa, ON | K1A 0R6****
>
> Telephone: 613-990-2731 | Fax: 613-952-4040
> David.S.Taylor@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
>
> ****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> *From:* Paul Nagai [
> question****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> Do your authors prefer a list, table, or tree view of potential tar...











Highlighted

Inserting a cross-reference "choose a target" UI question

Hi Paul,

Yes, there are specific points in our document development process (DDP) where the 'linkbase' is updated.

The authoring in our process actually ends about the midpoint of the document's development. The document is passed to editors and translators for completion. During editing and translation any missing or incorrect links are fixed and the linkbase updated. Authors are provided an updated draft document to confirm that edits and translation are technically accurate and links are correct. (Depending on the complexity of the document, this 'cycle' may repeat as necessary.)

Once an author passes a document to editing and translation he/she continues to implement further changes to that document for its next scheduled release. The most up-to-date version of the linkbase is always available for this continuous authoring.

David Taylor
Highlighted

Inserting a cross-reference "choose a target" UI question

Thanks, David. Sounds about right.


On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM, Taylor, David S. <
david.s.taylor@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca> wrote:

> Hi Paul,****
>
> ** **
>
> Yes, there are specific points in our document development process (DDP)
> where the 'linkbase' is updated.****
>
> ** **
>
> The authoring in our process actually ends about the midpoint of the
> document's development. The document is passed to editors and translators
> for completion. During editing and translation any missing or incorrect
> links are fixed and the linkbase updated. Authors are provided an updated
> draft document to confirm that edits and translation are technically
> accurate and links are correct. (Depending on the complexity of the
> document, this 'cycle' may repeat as necessary.)****
>
> ** **
>
> Once an author passes a document to editing and translation he/she
> continues to implement further changes to that document for its next
> scheduled release. The most up-to-date version of the linkbase is always
> available for this continuous authoring.****
>
> ** **
>
> David Taylor****
>
> ** **
>
> *From:* Paul Nagai [
> UI question****
>
> ** **
>
> I do suspect target count is important. If I'm linking to a target in th...













































































> question****
>
> ****
>
> ****
>
> Do your authors prefer a list, table, or tree view of potential targe...











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