TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: icons vs. buttons? From:"Susan W Gallagher" <susanwg -at- gmail -dot- com> To:"Tracy Taylor" <ipsque -at- yahoo -dot- com> Date:Wed, 1 Aug 2007 10:31:18 -0700
The word "icon" means "a usually pictorial representation" (m-w.com), and
has meant so for more years than there have been computers. In software,
icons are used in three different ways.
1. As stand-alone, interactive representations of software applications,
documents, and the like on the desktop.
2. As non-interactive identifiers, such as the small icons you see in file
explorer that tell you what kind of file you're looking at.
3. As labels on interactive command buttons and toolbar buttons
Your UEP has the definitions correct, it's the use of icons for multiple
purposes that was throwing you.
On 7/31/07, Tracy Taylor <ipsque -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> Hiya - this may only be relevant to those of us who write about software.
> In my opinion, within most software applications one has buttons. The
> toolbar in Word has buttons, not icons. And icons open programs.
> However, I got this definition from my user experience professional:
> Button – an affordance that leads to an action, which is surrounded
> (generally) by a border that looks somewhat 3-D.
> Link – an affordance that leads to a new page or site and is
> generally text.
> Icon – a small picture that represents (we hope) an action, some
> information, or an idea
> Any thoughts, or generally agreed upon principles? Thanks, Tracy
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-