3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2006 10:58 AM by KittyLiz

    Indexing "about" topics

    KittyLiz Level 1
      I'm documenting payroll software for a client and the question has come up about the industry standard for keywords attached to topics that generally describe complicated features. For example, I've created a topic called "Understanding Fringe Benefits". The topics for the fringe benefits programs reference the "understanding topic" so the user can get a better understanding of the entire sub-system.

      My current keywords include Advanced Feature - See Understanding Fringe Benefits, Benefits\Understanding Fringe Benefits, Fringe Benefits - See Understanding Fringe Benefits, and Understanding Fringe Benefits.

      Does anybody have any suggestions about the keywords? Also do you think the topic should be entitled "About Fringe Benetfits" instead of "Understanding Fringe Benefits"?
        • 1. Re: Indexing "about" topics
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi Kitty. No doubt you will get suggestions from others about whether to retitle your topic or the index keywords to attach to them. The trouble is that it is difficult for an outsider like me or them to say whether it is right or wrong for you to do so. It depends entirely on the users of the software. What terminology do they use? If they use the same as your topic title/keywords then you're on the right line. As far as the index is concerned, there is no index standard that I know of. There are books that have been written on them but my advice is to spend as much time on your index as is practical as a good index is worth its weight in gold.
          • 2. Re: Indexing "about" topics
            MergeThis Level 4

            If you're going to use gerunds, it's wise to stick with action verbs. I could never imagine looking in an Index for conceptual ideas like "Understanding," "Viewing," "Advanced Features," etc. You might know what topics are advanced, but how could your user possibly know that? I would stick with "Fringe Benefits" and "Benefits," and the common "Adding," "Deleting," etc. Otherwise, keep it to nouns, nouns, nouns, such as "Vacation Days," "Sick Days," "Bereavement," etc.

            Also make sure you present index entries for the titles of every window and panel in the application. There's nothing more frustrating to me than not finding such entries.

            Good luck,
            • 3. Re: Indexing "about" topics
              KittyLiz Level 1
              Thanks Leon for making me think about every panel. I had thought I was including a keyword for each panel, but there are some circumstances when I did not do it. I will be every careful about this now. Feedback from everyone has been helpful.


              Originally posted by: MergeThis
              Also make sure you present index entries for the titles of every window and panel in the application.