Webifying Large Documents, Part 3
The latest episode on how to get large docs or processes onto the web without going insane.:
Step 2: Determine the Document Type and Process Flow
Whether brochure-ware or a process, your users will greatly appreciate being kept in mind during the production process—it shows that you care about them.
Doing this requires understanding the process they must go through to finish the material. Depending on the document type, you’ll need to provide different types of help along the way so users can easily get through the material rather than giving up frustrated half way through.
Determining the document type will let you know the first steps to take. For brochure-ware, it’s generally enough to break the document down into its component parts. For process, you may need to provide extra guidance for your audience, such as letting them know the next steps and/or where they are in the process.
For any kind of material, the first step is to break the material down into the smallest chunks that make sense. Unless forced to, users refuse to read long passages on the web, so break the material down into easily digestible chunks. This makes for a much better experience and enables readers or users to find what they want quickly and scan over the rest, giving you the best likelihood that your material will be read.
For processes, break them down into small sections that have a consistent theme. For instance, on a survey the first section might be collecting their demographics, the second asking the initial questions, and so on.
For brochure-ware, break it down into sections that make sense for the material. For instance, for a product brochure, you have may have an overview, a section of technology, an application section, and a conclusion.
In either case, take a look at the material from a high level and start to consider the pieces into which the material can be broken down, and ensure that there is a flow that makes sense from start to finish.
For the sake of clarity and making this document easily digestible in a blog format, I have split it into several parts. However, you can download the entire doc here: