RE: Graphics in lines of text

Subject: RE: Graphics in lines of text
From: Kat Nagel <mlists -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com>
To: Peter Swisher <pswisher -at- arisglobal -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 16:51:51 -0500

-----Original Message-----
patrick_a_brady -at- hotmail -dot- com wrote:
Recently, a marketing person suggested we insert a small thumbnail in the
> text of the actual button that a user pushes.

At 09:09 AM -0500 2004-01-30, Peter Swisher wrote:
Hmm, I personally like the idea of putting graphics inline. It makes the
document much easier to scan, and makes it more visually compelling. I've
used this method in the past, with positive results.

It can work very well for some users, but can also be a dead waste of paper or online display space. I've used screen captures of buttons for projects at several companies where the users were entry-level minimum wage employees with little or no training. One of the selling points of those products was that the documentation would lead *anyone* step-by-step through the tasks. It worked for those manuals. The same approach would be less likely to work for API documentation <grin>.

If you go that thumbnail route, I have two cautions.

1. When you take the screen captures, make sure your display is set to the default settings for whatever computer operating system the users will If the majority of users will be using Windows 97, take the screen shots with the default Win97 colors and a standard middle-of-the-road display resolution, not with your favorite fancy WinXP theme on your spiffy hi-res monitor. For the audiences that need the button thumbnails, ANY deviation from what they see on the screen will cause confusion.

2. Don't put the thumbnails in-line in a normal paragraph. Put the procedure in a table, with the thumbnail in one column and the step description in another. That way, you can avoid the weird visual effects of having an in-line image screw up your line spacing. If you don't want the 'look' of a table, most word-processing and page-layout applications have options for hiding table grids.

Kat Nagel, MasterWork Consulting

katnagel -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com


RE: Graphics in lines of text: From: Peter Swisher

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