1 March 2015
Till 20 years ago, finding information was a complex mission. Most of us remember it as an effort: you had to go to the library, search through encyclopedias and turn to other people for answers. Nowadays, we still search for information, only there is the internet which has made searching for information an effortless action. With the click of a mouse, we receive endless information. Now that we have all this information, we must navigate through it and locate the relevant information within the page or document, in the shortest time possible. People like skimming, they don't have the time to read the full text they are presented.
This is where "internal accessibility" comes into play.
Internal accessibility deals with providing a user with the means necessary for optimal navigation in a document or knowledge page he/she is presented, in order for him/her to optimally comprehend its content.
Several methods are used in order to provide internal accessibility:
Smart documents-An orderly organization of the document and creating the document smartly: opening the document with an organized document map followed by information nuggets derived from it. For more information regarding the method:
Templates- Using uniform templates for documents/knowledge pages can assist the user in navigating through the document and save time spent on the cognitive effort of understanding the content.
Icons: Using icons and tags can assist the user in understanding the context and relevance of the information.
Highlighting: Internal highlighting and tables are very important as they organize the information structurally, making it more appealing. Furthermore, information presented in this manner is usually short and concise, and as such is more effective than full passages.
Pictures: Inserting pictures lightens up the atmosphere and provides the text with an informal appeal (which does not mean it is actually informal).
To conclude, using these tools may assist users in navigating through a document/page/item and comprehending its content in the clearest way.
Note: if one does not reach the content, he/she will obviously not have the chance to comprehend it. So why waste time and effort on finding it, if the result will be ignoring what is read?
Internal Accessibility is critical for reaching specific information, understanding it and using it. Therefore, it is highly recommended.