NOCTURNE’s approach to information design is simple but effective:
- Determine requirements based on user and business goals.
- Identify and characterize the information to be delivered.
- Select appropriate channels for delivery.
- Create or craft content.
- Execute and manage delivery.
- Measure effectiveness.
- Ensure sustainable quality.
We begin with requirements analysis, a process that looks at your needs (in terms of marketing, support and user enablement) and your customers’ needs (in terms of task and training requirements). We map out what kinds of information must be communicated, who needs the information, and when they need it. We then select appropriate channels for delivering that information (for example, online help, printed user guides, quick reference tools, interactive training, or ‘in skin’ cues and job aids integrated into your software or hardware interfaces).
The result of this process is a matrix that maps users to tasks and tasks to ‘information objects’. The matrix allows us to define specific requirements for each guide, quick reference card, online help system or training module, identifying its objectives, supported tasks, audience, context and content. This matrix can also be used to manage the development and delivery of customer documentation and information, and to guide the creation of templates and the authoring of training modules, documentation content, and other customer-facing materials. A detailed specification for each information object makes it easy to plan out your customer information and helps individual authors (either in-house experts or NOCTURNE writers) build your content.