Adopting a bottom-up information architecture is not just about changing how content is organized, it also means significant changes in how content is written. In fact, our traditional ways of writing have been strongly tied to the top-down organization of content. In the top-down world, a common technique was to plan a table of contents and then write content to fit into that TOC. The author is very deliberately creating what they consider to be the optimal curriculum for the reader. In a media like paper, where moving from one piece of information to another was expensive, constructing this recommended reading order made sense. In a world in which search and links make moving trivially easy, however, readers are much more likely to construct their own curriculum based on their individual backgrounds and their immediate task concerns.
In a bottom-up information architecture, every page is a potential page one for the reader, and every page acts as a hub that allows the reader to travel onward on their chosen course. The second session in the Information Architecture Bottom-up series will look at how to write for a bottom-up information architecture using the seven principles of Every Page is Page One information design.
This is Part 2 of a three-part series:
- TC Dojo Open Session
- Date: 9 March 2015, 9 AM Pacific/US
- Audience: All
- Cost: Free
About the Visiting Dojo Master
Mark Baker is a twenty-five-year veteran of the technical communication industry, with particular experience in developing task-oriented, topic-based content, and technical communication on the Web. He has worked as a technical writer, a publications manager, a structured authoring consultant and trainer, and as a designer, architect, and builder of structured authoring systems. It is his firm belief that the future of Technical Communications lies on the Web, and that to be successful on the Web, we cannot simply publish traditional books or help systems on the Web, we must create content that is native to the Web.
Watch the Video
Get useful tips and valuable resources every month
Join the thousands who know just how much we share.