Reading Usable Help
@UsableHelp on Twitter
Gordon R. Meyer
Ins and Outs of Indices
At this Spring's excellent Writer's UA conference I got to meet many interesting people, including Jan Wright, a specialist in indexing, controlled vocabularies, and other related topics (no pun intended). Like most writers I consider indexing, like dental prophylaxis, an essential activities best left to professionals.
It seems that fewer books have good indices, and as onscreen help has become the dominate delivery method, most systems eschew indexing and assume that searching is "good enough." (I, as my colleagues will testify, have known to argue that it's better, but that's a topic for another time.) But opinions aside, certainly we can agree that for some people the index is a preferred method of locating information. And to this end, Janet writes a cogent and thoughtful piece on The Future of Indexing at the WritersUA site, and notes the ebb and flow of indexing and related approaches in the industry.