Everyone's a publisher
to be a publisher
WE NOW KNOW what information has to be conveyed to on-line publishers, but what methods should we use to achieve the training? Well, there are three principal ways of meeting any training need classroom training, self-study and on-job training. And all three have a part to play in providing on-line publishers with the skills they require:
For the past eighteen months I have been using what are now called traditional training methods to teach intranet content providers. Over a two-day course, we have provided a general introduction to the World Wide Web and intranets, skills in using the organisations chosen authoring software (typically Microsoft FrontPage) and a grounding in the design rules presented above. Classroom events have their pros and cons:
One of the prime advantages of an intranet is its ability to deliver training direct to the desktop. And what better way is there to demonstrate the benefits of the on-line medium than by using the technology itself? Materials are coming available now that provide a thorough grounding in the principles of on-line publishing in the form of short training modules for individual study at home or work (see Web pages that Work).
Self-study has it own unique pros and cons:
A three pronged approach
Whichever method you choose, there are significant benefits to be achieved from the skilled application of web page design principles. In two studies at Sun Microsystems, measured usability was improved by 159% and 124% by rewriting content to conform to best practice guidelines.
History does not have to repeat itself. We can do much more than provide our on-line publishers with the tools of the trade, we can help them to learn from the experience of the thousands of web page designers that have preceded them. We can provide them with the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to create quality intranet content.
© Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1998. All rights reserved. Last revised 2/11/98.