RE: pictures, words, info, glyphs, symbols, thoughts

Subject: RE: pictures, words, info, glyphs, symbols, thoughts
From: "Bill Swallow" <wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 15:18:38 -0400

Don't you have to consider cultural differences with text as well?

And yes, I do agree with your point though... It's all in the "know thy
audience" commandment of technical writing. ;) I think Gerber missed
that passage when shipping baby food to third world nations a while
back. *lol*

Every form of communication has limitations and ideal uses. I'm not
arguing that images are better than words, but in the right situations
they can be. I'll take a network diagram over a text description of the
network any day!

Information Design & Development Professional
tel/fax: 518.371.1867 wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com
List Owner: HATT, WWP-Users, InFrame
Co-Moderator: SingleSourcing-Mgmt
WebWorks Wizard Editor of InFrame Magazine

::: -----Original Message-----
::: ... You don't need to be able
::: to read to know that a pictograph of a skull and bones,
::: wedge between an
::: arm and a hand, or a red triangle with an exclamation point
::: in it mean
::: DANGER. You can also communicate an overview of an assembly process
::: quicker with an image than words, or communicate how a circuit is
::: constructed, or any workflow, hierarchy, or system.
::: What you need for these types of visual cues is a cultural basis for
::: interpreting them.
::: Quite often, we forget how much cultural baggage is associated with
::: pictorial information.
::: There have been many studies on how American-designed
::: pictures/glyphs/icons
::: used in technical docs are interpreted in foreign countries by local
::: document users. Often the information is misinterpreted and
::: the mistakes are
::: compounded by the fact that the pictures and text "seem" at odds.
::: I do not mean to imply that pictures are not useful, but
::: that as information
::: technicians, we need to understand the limits such communication.

Save $600: Create great-looking Help files and software demos with
RoboHelp Deluxe. Get RoboHelp and RoboDemo - our new demo software - for one
low price. OR Save $100 on RoboHelp Office in June with our mail-in rebate.
Go to

Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

RE: pictures, words, info, glyphs, symbols, thoughts: From: walden miller

Previous by Author: RE: pictures, words, info, glyphs, symbols, thoughts
Next by Author: RE: I know what a run book is...what is a build book?
Previous by Thread: Re: pictures, words, info, glyphs, symbols, thoughts
Next by Thread: RE: pictures, words, info, glyphs, symbols, thoughts

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads