Text is bad: Was Ideas in Motion

Subject: Text is bad: Was Ideas in Motion
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 07:07:56 -0500

People have used text only because it was cheap to produce, not because it
was truly effective. For some 20 percent of the population, it's
problematic. That number includes dyslexics, the barely literate, speakers
of other languages, and a scattering of readers with other problems. In some
areas, the percentage is even higher. I know...I did the research for an
article that appeared in an STC publication. The article is in white paper
form on our website.

Today, it's widely recognized that procedures can often be more effectively
communicated with visual means, such as videotape or demos. They're still a
little more expensive, but they provide a quantum leap in usefulness.

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
Check our Web site for the upcoming Clustar class info

> And yet people have been using text-only procedures quite successfully for
> years and years.
> It isn't that the text is poor in some situations, it may be that the
> isn't in the same mind-set as the user.
> Flow-chart graphics may only further confuse and frustrate the user. You
> not only need to know
> WHAT the procedure will do, but WHY the user would need to do it.

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