Presentations by Mysti Berry

Herding Tigers: Changing Our Reliance on Inline Links

In this session, you’ll learn how online help changed the primary information architectural tool from inline links to user-goal based structure with minimal See Also links. We’d always delivered our help as HTML topics in a single portal, plus a single (giant) PDF. When we carved the content up into smaller bundles, we discovered an over-reliance on inline links. The challenge: to help writers understand how basic architecture choices and knowledge of user behaviors could reduce our reliance on links and improve the customer experience.

Our team rightly insisted that they understand the information architecture theory and practice driving this change before they’d implement the requested changes. Proving this to smart, experienced writers was one the biggest challenge of my career. Our writers are the fiercest user advocates and weren’t about to change their habits without clear proof that the user experience would improve.

Did the user experience improve? I’ll share the preliminary evidence that all the work we did is beginning to pay off, and explain how this first attempt to make our content more structured will support the multichannel publishing challenges that are now just around the corner.

About Mysti Berry
Principal Content Strategist,

Mysti BerryMysti Berry joined in 2005. After over 20 years as a technical writer, she is now the Principal Content Strategist in the Technical Documentation department. She designed a major online help reorganization and contributed to several small cross-group projects designed to make customers more successful by uniting information from different parts of the company.