RE: re How do you differentiate commands, etc. in text? (Take II)

Subject: RE: re How do you differentiate commands, etc. in text? (Take II)
From: "Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 07:27:19 -0500

Mark Levinson wrote:
> I think that besides uglifying the page, inline icons--
> at least if not accompanied by the command name-- fail
> to reinforce the vocabulary that we want the reader to
> internalize. If the user is accustomed to thinking not
> "Recalculate Right-Hand Column" but "orange squiggle
> that reminds me of my mother-in-law's hairdo," then the
> may be less than well prepared for other media where text
> must be used instead of the icon, or for communicating
> with other users.

Well put and a good example, Mark.

I don't read hieroglyphics, so I substitute words for inline icons as
I'm reading.

1. To see what your printout will look like, click the bald eagle's

I'm using Outlook, and I just described an icon from my toolbar.
(Outlook gives you text when you mouse over the icon, but I'm pretending
I didn't read it.) In reality, the icon is supposed to be a piece of
paper with a corner folded over and a magnifying glass over it, but if
you don't give me the words "print preview" to associate with the icon,
I'll continue thinking of it as a bald eagle. Can I look up "bald eagle
for printing" in your index? If I tell my help desk that my computer
locked up when I clicked the bald eagle, will they know how to help me?

Give me WORDS. You can include an icon, too, but not as a substitute for
the word. Place the icon wherever you want to, as long as you're
consistent so I know where to find it if I need to know what it looks


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re How do you differentiate commands, etc. in text? (Take II): From: nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il

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