classification

In response to:

Hertzum, Morten. (2004) “Small-scale classification schemes: A Field study of requirements engineering.” Computer supported cooperative work 13(1): 35-61.

In the SILS lab this semester we have been working on reorganizing both our internal and external help documentation. I had not previously thought about this as a classification issue, or considered the different alternatives for that structure. Naturally, things must be organized along multiple dimensions. Our public documentation is all stored and shared as XML or static webpages. Our internal documentation is changing from a sort of mixed bag of pages to a more structured wiki-style format.

In each case, the structure is arranged so that the information can be browsed to through multiple facets, but the documents still need a primary classification for ready access. For the purpose of restructuring the pages, I have sifted through all of our public documentation (roughly 75 pages and 100-125 links) and arranged them visually using a drawing program (omnigraffle, though for the document to be available and useful to everyone, I will need to save it as a visio file). In doing so, I have color coded the pages so that they are classified according to the primary subject of the document. In drawing out the site map of our help pages, I’ve been better able to understand the roles of these documents, and should be able to rearrange the hierarchical collection of links on the right side of the lab webpages, instead of having all of our technical documentation misleading labeled “FAQs.”

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