information comparison formats, width/presentation ideal for comparison

8 Apr 2008 - 3:06pm
6 years ago
1 reply
782 reads
Becky R
2008

I'm working on a project that requires the user to compare different medical
procedures (not low content, even with tight writing). Our initial testing
very strongly supports side-by-side comparison (of course), but we've been
pretty constrained by a very narrow minimum width and I'm looking for better
ammunition...

Does anyone have insights on existing research on presenting comparative
information (ideal width for retention/learning, formats if side-by-side
comparison is not possible)?

Thanks!

Comments

8 Apr 2008 - 6:49pm
frank dahle
2007

What does "not low content" mean?
You leave too little information about the nature of the texts for me to
really know if this is a good suggestion but consider this:

1. Find a way to split up the procedure texts into smaller comparable
pieces/paragraphs. Ideally no more than 4-5 lines per paragraph (maybe the
procedure texts are already fragmented in readable paragraphs?).
2. Put each comparable pair of paragraphs after each other.
3. Use background colors, icons, font styles etc to separate the paragraphs
from each procedure.
4. If you have enough space; position one of the procedure's paragraphs a
bit to the right.
This way you will have the two procedure texts half overlapping to separate
them even more clearly.

Here's a low fi "scetch" of this suggestion:

Procedure A
First paragraph
Procedure B
First paragraph
Procedure A
Second paragraph
Procedure B
Second paragraph
.....

Users may still study one procedure at the time continuously from beginning
to end, because color codes etc binds all text pieces together.
It's equally easy to study both procedures simultaneously by reading and
comparing one pair of texts at the time.

It's late and I'm tired.
Hope this can be of some help.

frank

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Becky R" <muttcrazy at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 11:06 PM
To: <discuss at ixda.org>
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] information comparison formats,width/presentation
ideal for comparison

> I'm working on a project that requires the user to compare different
> medical
> procedures (not low content, even with tight writing). Our initial testing
> very strongly supports side-by-side comparison (of course), but we've been
> pretty constrained by a very narrow minimum width and I'm looking for
> better
> ammunition...
>
>
> Does anyone have insights on existing research on presenting comparative
> information (ideal width for retention/learning, formats if side-by-side
> comparison is not possible)?
>

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