Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- 15 Questions to Ask After You Finish a Technical Document Project - February 12, 2018
- THY’s Perfect Information Design - February 9, 2018
- Waterfall vs. Agile Models in Technical Documentation - February 7, 2018
© Ugur Akinci
Here are four book components that I think we won’t come across too frequently in the future when we read a single-sourced technical document:
1) Headers and Footers
3) Page Numbers
Headers and footers have been inseparable components of the traditional book metaphor, the “codex” as it’s also known, for over 1600 years — since 400 A.D. more or less (See http://rchin.wordpress.com/pre-modern-media/history-of-the-codex-book/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex).
As more targeted content is delivered to “receiving platforms” (iPads, smart phones, kiosks, tablets of all kinds, web pages, etc.), headers and footers will rapidly lose their significance because basically they are nothing more than a way to tell the reader where he or she is in a continuum of linearly-arranged content.
However, when the content is accessed not linearly but on a need-be basis, the traditional arrangement of content in terms of chapters, each with its headers and footers, becomes irrelevant.
Page numbers, usually a part of the footer, also disappear since there are no “pages” as such anymore since a “page” becomes whatever you please to see on your screen, depending on the font type, size, margins, etc. of your choice. When presentation medium becomes that elastic, it’s impossible to talk about pages and page numbers anymore.
TOC (Table of Contents) will disappear for the same reason since a TOC describes how topics follow one another in a linear fashion. A TOC is all about what comes “next.” But when you can jump in any direction you like from one topic to another, purely depending on your needs and in no particular fashion whatsoever, a TOC becomes a truly historic anomaly.