CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 5
May 2002

A monthly e-newsletter from the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD, CIDM Director

If you would like to receive the CIDM e-newsletter in plain-text format, visit and choose the plain-text format.

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News & Events

JoAnn Hackos and Arbortext invite you to a special joint workshop Developing a Single-Source Strategy for XML Authoring, Content Management, and Dynamic Web Delivery
JoAnn Hackos, PhD and Tina Hedlund
June 24-26, 2002, at Arbortext in Ann Arbor, MI

Special three day, interactive, hands-on workshop that includes the complete Single-Sourcing seminar in addition to the opportunity to use the co-host’s XML editor, Epic Editor, and their content-management system, Documentum.

For more information and to register, visit

JoAnn Hackos and the CIDM invite you to Best Practices 2002 on September 29-October 2, 2002 in Galveston, TX

For more information, visit

Upcoming Workshops
The CIDM sponsors the following workshops between June and October 2002. Sign up now:

Developing a Strategy for Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Will Use
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
June 18-19, 2002, Portland, OR,
September 5-6, 2002, Greenville, SC

Developing a Single-Source Strategy for XML Authoring, Content Management, and Dynamic Web Delivery
JoAnn Hackos, PhD, and Tina Hedlund,
June 24-26, 2002, at Arbortext in Ann Arbor, MI

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Bill Hackos, PhD,
July 15-16, 2002, Dallas, TX

Developing a Single-Sourcing Strategy
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
July 18-19, 2002, San Jose, CA

Structuring Information for Online Success
Henry Korman, RA,
August 5-6, 2002, St. Paul, MN

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
Bill Hackos, PhD,
September 18-19, 2002, Arlington, VA,
October 8-9, 2002, Boston, MA

For more information on these and other workshops, visit the Seminars in Usable Design Web site at

Accidental Reuse
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

Accidental reuse—reminds me of the title of a popular book and movie a few years ago called the Accidental Tourist. Information developers and instructional designers, pursuing a single-source strategy and a content-management solution, believe they will be able to reuse content created by others by accident—that is, without a plan in place to develop content for reuse by design.

The problem has emerged for me in two ways, through an example of “accidental reuse” in a product demo and through work with organizations that are attempting to capitalize on their single-source investment. The conclusion I’ve reached—accidental reuse doesn’t work.

Read the full article

What Kind of Problem is That?
Robert N. Phillips
CEO, Lasotell Pty Ltd.

I listened to a lecture recently that described four types of problem domains that exist in two kinds of environments. It became immediately obvious that if we recognise we are dealing with aHegelian problem, for example, we may resolve the matter a lot quicker or with a lot less aggravation if we can turn it into a Leibnitzianproblem.

Read the full article

Users are Everywhere!
Vesa Purho
Development Manager, Nokia

In the beginning of April, I moved back to management after being in a research position for almost three years. At first, I had mixed feelings because I thought the change in position meant that I would no longer be working that much with customer documentation issues, a subject I feel somewhat attached to after doing research on it for a few years. But there I was, managing a small group of people responsible for giving support to the users of our documentation tools.

I had time to do some reading. I read Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster (Perseus, 2001) by Bill Jensen, Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery (Wiley, 2002) by JoAnn Hackos, and Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Que, 2000) by Steve Krug. Suddenly, well actually gradually because it was not like a lightning strike, I started seeing things differently.

Read the full article

The Center For Information-Development Management
The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) is an organization of information-development, training, and support managers across the United States and internationally. The CIDM is directed by Dr. JoAnn Hackos, international leader in the management of the design, development, and dissemination of information to customers and employees. Under her leadership, the CIDM conducts benchmark studies among member organizations and elsewhere, sponsors research into information development and its management, gathers and disseminates results and resources through newsletters, the Web, seminars, an annual conference, and research white papers. The CIDM facilitates the sharing of information among the most skilled managers in the information industry.

If you are interested in reading more in-depth articles, you should consider subscribing to the Best Practices newsletter at