Re: Looking for points of view from visual learners

Subject: Re: Looking for points of view from visual learners
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2004 15:02:09 -0400

Gimme eight by ten color glo-o-sssssy photos, with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin' just what it's a photo of. I want it all, Sharon. Seriously.

The word "report" means so many different things in different contexts (varying by department, by company, by infrastructure capabilities) that you cannot presume a new employee has a friggin' clue what you are rattling on about in your prose. It is extremely difficult for a visual learner to visualize from prose--no matter how carefully crafted--what the _thing_ looks like.

Further, at least in the companies whose reports I've encountered, they tend to be internally inconsistent. Dates appear magically in different places, fonts, and date formats from one report to the next. Titles are all caps flush left in one and ULC centered in the next. If you don't have pictures, with elaborate callouts labeling every feature, you're crippling the effectiveness of your document.

But that's just my opinion ;-)

Sharon Burton wrote:

I've surveyed my users and they are kinesthetic and visual learners. What that
means for the manuals is they like procedures and pictures.
Given that, I am looking for points of view. I am working on the reports section
of this manual. I have the steps for generating a report - there are 7 reports -
and a description of what you see in each report. What I am wondering is if you
visual learners out there would like to see an example report as well?
My thoughts are back and forth on this. The users know generally what is in each
report, why do they want to see an example too? What value does this add to
them? Since I'm not real visual, the answer for me is "not much".Given that they
are visual and I am not, my gut may not be the best guide here.
And if I show example reports, do I show them in the chapter in place, thus
making each topic that talks about a report pretty long (even if I shorten the
example) or do I put them at the end of the chapter or ?
Can the visual learners weigh in here, please?


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Looking for points of view from visual learners: From: Sharon Burton

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