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I'm very curious how everyone handles this one: The Microsoft Style Manual
says to use what I consider to be a somewhat convoluted structure for
guiding users through menu paths, e.g., "From the Edit menu, select Find,
then choose Files or Folders."
As a user, I've always found this construction to be difficult to follow,
not to mention somewhat pompous sounding. In my own projects, I use a linear
path: Select *Edit>Find>Files or Folders*. I've also used commas in the past
but I like the > better. I don't believe there's any reason to dress up in a
complex sentence what should be a very simple instruction.
I recently did a HAT tutorial where they used the Microsoft method, and I
spent half the time looking back and forth to the documentation trying to
find the actual name of the menu item I was supposed to be using. (The rest
of the tutorial was hard to follow as well because they were so concerned
about orienting you in the complex windows/dialogs that they managed to lose
you half the time. Not sure how they managed that neat trick, but they did.
Maybe I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and decide that the
complicated interface didn't help matters any.)
Opinions, anyone? Has anyone done any formal user observations? Are there
any other standards out there? (I've only got the Microsoft Manual).