RE: Do Users Refer to a Table of Figures?

Subject: RE: Do Users Refer to a Table of Figures?
From: Karen Field <kfield -at- STELLCOM -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 16:02:50 -0800

<<My experience suggests that a good index and table of contents are far
more
useful, and that for most users, a table of figures is just a waste of trees
and bytes.>>

Connie,
I agree completely. I can't image a user looking up a figure in a table of
figures. If they had questions about a dialog box, for example, they'd
probably look up the dialog box name in the index, where there might
subentries for the d-box such as "explained" or "using to print files" or
whatever.

Another point: If you tag every occurrence of the same figure in a table of
figures, the user sees that figure more than once, with no supporting
information. Which one should they go to first? This is a clear example of
how a good index can replace the arcane practice of listing figures.

Karen Field
Sr. Technical Writer
Stellcom, Inc.
San Diego, CA




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