RE: User documentation - drawings or photographs?

Subject: RE: User documentation - drawings or photographs?
From: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 06:08:00 -0500

Jim Jones wrote:

"Photographs are more expensive in terms of maintenance and computer
memory."

With modern digital cameras and a good eye, photographs are no longer
expensive. In fact, they're downright cheap. I of course assume that you
take them yourself, which I do. I'm also a professional photographer, but
anyone can take good images and with a digital camera you can practice
freely to get the technique down. (Hint: it's not like taking snapshots of
the kids at soccer practice.) There's a plethora of books in your local
library on the subject.


"...drawings are in general 'easier' to look at than photos, because they
are less dense (in the information that they present) and usually they are
designed in such a way so that the user pays attention to just that one
thing or feature that is being illustrated."

I work with Solidworks and Visio drawings of extremely complicated
electromechanical wafer processing systems. They are neither less dense than
photos, nor easier to manipulate. They do however allow me to strip away the
layers to drill down to the actual subject area under discussion. So, I'll
give you that. Unfortunately, most of the production drawings are four to
five months behind the product, so using the drawings means loss of
accuracy. (Welcome to life in a product development environment.)

In many cases using an accurate drawing does make for a cleaner document,
but, like life itself, there are always exceptions.


Al Geist
Technical Writing, Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design and Award Winning
Videos
Voice/Msg: 802-872-9190
Cell: 802-578-3964
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com
URL: http://www.geistassociates.com (Online portfolio and resume)
See also:
URL: http://www.geistimages.com (Fine art photographic prints for home or
office and beautiful note cards for all occasions.)

" ... I walked to work, quit my job, and kept walking. Better to be a
pilgrim without a destination, I figured, than to cross the wrong threshold
every day." (Anon)


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References:
User documentation - drawings or photographs?: From: SB
RE: User documentation - drawings or photographs?: From: technical writing plus

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