Graphics vs Text

Subject: Graphics vs Text
From: Ben <baj357 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 08:45:11 -0700 (PDT)

I apologize about this topic. I'm almost positive I've seen this topic discussed here before. So to revive an older discussion conerning graphics vs. text in online help, what is the dominant philosophy about using graphics (with minimal text) to instruct users vs. using text only? Personally, I believe using graphics sparingly and when it would help communicate a complex idea. But I can't seem to argue when someone says it's easier to look at a graphic (with mininal text) compared to reading several steps. Doesn't that depend on the user? I did mention the maintenace issue with heavy graphic usage. And through further discussion, my user even made a point for using text only because in online help, users typically looks at the help as they are looking at the software window or dialog of interest, so there would be no need for a screen shot. I guess I'm looking for studies or research and of course community input. Thanks!

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