RE: what's the point (was Graphics! Graphics! Graphics!)

Subject: RE: what's the point (was Graphics! Graphics! Graphics!)
From: "Ward, Curtis (DBS-CLT)" <curtis_ward -at- dbs-systems -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 09:52:40 -0400

Of course "audience needs" are paramount, which is my point. I am not
suggesting that Bose's approach is a blanket solution to all user
documentation needs, it was simply an example. Clearly not ALL information
can be represented graphically. But I can't help but wonder how often it is
assumed that a document is "essentially textual" when it is not, simply
because a tech writer is not comfortable with graphic design or graphic
tools. I'm a little concerned that as a profession we tend to become locked
into a "template" mentality and attempt to make the context (audience,
nature of the information, environment, etc) fit into what we think it
should be rather than really analyzing and design documents to fit the
context.

Not an accusation, Michael. I too have documents that don't lend themselves
well to pictures. But I also see an great deal of documentation that would
be more effective with graphics and doesn't have them. And that includes
some pretty technical material that could be mostly graphics and far more
effective for it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Curtis Ward
curtis_ward -at- dbs-systems -dot- com



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael West
> Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2000 9:19 AM
> To: Ward, Curtis (DBS-CLT); TECHWR-L
> Subject: Re: what's the point (was Graphics! Graphics! Graphics!)
>
> Yes, non-textual situations are a clear exception. There, pictures
> take the place of text.
>
> That isn't what I had in mind, but it shows up the need to address
> the "audience needs" issue before we make broad
> generalizations about what works and what doesn't.
>
> I'll stand by my basic point, though -- in an essentially textual
> document, pictures must be explicitly tied to text. Otherwise, their
> significance can too easily be missed.
>
> Michael West
> Melbourne




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