Documenting a Touch-Screen Interface

Subject: Documenting a Touch-Screen Interface
From: "Balchunas, John" <JBalchunas -at- orgtek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 11:24:48 -0500

Hey everyone,

Anyone have any experience documenting touch-screen interfaces?

My department is soon to begin a large-scale revision of one of our operator
manuals for a product which has a touch-screen interface. The original
author of the manual inserted Microsoft Drawing Objects into the text when
referring to a touch screen button. I have crudely attempted to illustrate
the result using plain text below (if you can imagine basically a shaded
text box around Probe Priming Menu with extra space above to accommodate the

| |
7. Touch | Probe Priming Menu |. The following window appears.

In my opinion, this takes up a lot of wasted space (if you add up the extra
space above required for each button over the course of an entire manual it
probably increases the overall page count by 25-30%).

Any thoughts as to how to refer to/indicate touch-screen buttons. I have
considered something as simple as placing the button text in
bold/small-capped font with brackets around it. Something along the lines
of what follows (if you can imagine small caps/bold for Probe Priming Menu):

7. Touch [Probe Priming Menu]. The following window appears.

Anyway, any thoughts as to how to refer to touch-screen buttons?

Any insight would be appreciated...


John Balchunas
Technical Writer I, Labeling and Packaging Development
Organon Teknika Corporation
100 Akzo Avenue
Durham, NC 27712
tel.    919.620.2053
fax:    919.620.4170
email:  jbalchunas -at- orgtek -dot- com <mailto:jbalchunas -at- orgtek -dot- com>


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October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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