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

Subject: RE: Poll: How do you differentiate commands, etc. in text? (Take II)
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 09:01:04 -0600

Geoff Hart wrote:

> This is why my favorite approach in documentation is to
> minimize the use of the icons in the first place by referring
> almost exclusively to the menu commands. My rationale is that
> in addition to avoiding the kind of visual problem Tom
> described, I know that the menus will work for all users of
> the software--whereas many people (me, for instance) hate
> working with toolbars and icons. A well-designed menu system
> is generally more logical than a toolbar, and also reveals
> the keyboard shortcuts for power users (me, for instance) who
> hate taking their hands off the keyboards.

Boy, are you going to hate Windows Vista and Office 12! :-)

In the former, the menus for most windows are either gone or hidden by
default. I understand that the latter does away with menus completely.
The folks at MS think menus are obsolete.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate it. I agree with Mark Levinson and
Donna Jones -- when we're learning reasonably complex, sophisticated
tasks or applications, we should learn concepts and ideas, not just
where to click next like a chicken taught to play tic-tac-toe. As Donna
said, "Give me WORDS."


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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