Naomi's Indexing Woes


Well, I thought was going to be a very straight forward assignment. Definitely famous last words, as I did not foresee the amount of problems associated with the 'decisions' I would make along the way & as to how these would affect the overall design of the index.

My main problem, I discovered later, was that my topic was way too narrow. If I had chosen straight punctuation I think it would have been easier. However, I'm reasonably happy with the final index "list".

Along the way, I started working on about three different styles: a straight alphabetical list, a divided list of three sections, and another divided/sectional list with more sections but these sections were in alphabetical order. [here is a mixture of some of the alternatives]

Basically I couldn't get anything that 'looked' like it made sense or looked 'nice'. There was either not enough information in the index or the index looked as if it was all over the place -- even though it was arranged in beautiful alphabetical order.

Finally, I came to realise that regardless of the topic or task, I needed to ask myself the question -- "Why am I making this index?" Well, apart from the obvious -- to get a fantastic grade -- the other questions I came up with, were I doing this for real, were these:
  1. Why would a user seek this information?
  2. What would a user expect to find?
  3. How would the layout of the index best suit users' needs?

The answers I came up with:
  1. To find out how & where to use an apostrophe
  2. To see examples along with explanations, & further information on the topic
  3. If users were to seek out an index such as this, the layout likely to help them the most would start with the rules associated with how to use an apostrophe, then examples, then background information then other information.

So, this was my journey into how I created my index. My hair is starting to grow back...and I now have an even healthier appreciation of apostrophes!!!

Cheers, Naomi

last updated: 1-Apr-09

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