I think I went overboard with this site map and flow-chart assignment and created an entire, content-linked site map whose subdivisions within levels (what I called a “shallow” site in my content evaluation turned out to have 5 levels) I differentiated for the human reader by color-coding. This map’s got topography.
Then it came to the flow-chart bit and I had a dreadful time figuring out how to make a meaningful flow-chart since I’d already represented pathways through the different levels of the site to particular content. For aren’t flow-charts simply out-takes from this depth-transition process for people who do not wish to chart their own ways? I’m not knocking the entire genre; I’ve created functional flow-charts that represent transformations with feedback loops in many domains; that kind of flow-chart is inapplicable for this application since I’m not representing any inferential models, etc. I heard myself as a teacher and teacherly boss as I resolved upon how to create a flow chart for this application: “use your finger! pretend the model is a set of pathways and you’re walking through them!”
It’s something that many of us are learning (or re-learning, in my case; this happens approximately once a month): individuals think differently about the same constructs. Some people will truly not get it—the structural logic of a thing—if they have to use their fingers or pretend that the big model is a set of pathways and need the permeability of various levels of a site modeled for them in an exemplary manner (I’m also a fan of definitions and rules rather than examples; can you tell?).
This brings home the fact that many people can be an intractable taxonomist or even ontologist—but that the IA has to be a project manager (PM), too., responsible for explaining things in ways that will be accessible to many individuals, which, in turn, means that the IA needs to make the way in which those others apprehend structural logic accessible to her (by talking to them, for example). I noticed that our speaker last session mentioned that he really disliked the PM aspect of IA; I wonder what kinds of professional or intellectual limitations that has led to for him and people who are similarly disinclined towards PM work.