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Part 3: Easy to find

Part 3: Easy to find

Finding information is essential, whether you're a new user trying to figure out where to start and what to do or an experienced user looking for a parameter for a command. The organization, retrievability, and visual effectiveness of information contribute most to whether users can find the information that they need.


Chapter 8 Organization


Organize information into discrete topics by type


Organize tasks by order of use


Organize topics for quick retrieval


Separate contextual information from other types of information


Organize information consistently


Provide an appropriate number of subentries for each branch


Emphasize main points; subordinate secondary points


Reveal how the pieces fit together


In sum


Chapter 9 Retrievability


Facilitate navigation and search


Provide a complete and consistent index


Use an appropriate level of detail in the table of contents


Provide helpful entry points


Link appropriately


Design helpful links


        Ensure that a link describes the information that it links to


        In similar links and cross-references, emphasize the text that is different


        Minimize the effort that is needed to reach related information


        Avoid redundant links


Make linked-to information easy to find in the target topic


In sum


Chapter 10 Visual Effectiveness


Use graphics that are meaningful and appropriate


        Illustrate significant concepts


        Avoid illustrating what is already visible


Choose graphics that complement the text


Use visual elements for emphasis


        Emphasize the appropriate information


        Ensure that your visual elements are not distracting


Use visual elements logically and consistently


        Use a visually simple but distinct heading hierarchy


        Maintain consistent placement of document elements


        Ensure that the look and feel of multimedia presentations is consistent


        Use icons and symbols consistently


Balance the number and placement of visual elements


Use visual cues to help users find what they need


        Visually identify recurring alternatives or contexts


        Ensure that visual cues are usable in all environments


Ensure that textual elements are legible


        Use a legible typeface and size


        Ensure that the text fits in the available space


        Ensure that the contrast between text and background is adequate


Use color and shading discreetly and appropriately


Ensure that all users can access the information


In sum



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