Exploring usability

Index written by a technical indexer
Fig 2: Technical indexer
Index written by a scholarly index
Fig 1: Scholarly indexer

Two questions:

1. Has becoming an indexer changed the way you use indexes?

2. Assume you mostly indexed technical books. Would that influence the way you index scholarly books?

These are just two questions you might ponder if you read “Testing usability: ‘Experience an index usability test’ at the ASI Conference (Portland, 2009)” by Cheryl Landes. This article appeared in the December 2009 issue of The Indexer.

At the ASI conference, Cheryl led a session in which 14 attendees reviewed and looked up entries in two indexes that were written for a single book of essays. One of the indexes was written by a scholarly indexer, the other by a technical indexer. The usability test results were interesting, but even more so were the reviewers’ comments.

Cheryl received a regional Award of Excellence from the Society for Technical Communications for this article.

You will enjoy hearing about Cheryl’s latest insights on index usability when you come to the conference in Winnipeg on June 8-9.

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