RE: Display, Displays, or Appears? <philosophical thoughts>

Subject: RE: Display, Displays, or Appears? <philosophical thoughts>
From: "Hemstreet, Deborah" <DHemstreet -at- kaydon -dot- com>
To: "Geoff Hart" <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>, "techwr-l List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Tim Lewis" <ltc -dot- writer -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 15:06:28 -0400

Hi Geoff,

You said...

>Think of it this way: If there is only one result (e.g., displaying a
>dialog box), describing that result is rarely useful: If the software
>behaves the way it should, the result of the action is clear, and
>telling the reader about what they just saw is redundant...

I think that the redundancy is possible - but it depends on who your
user is, as well as the complexity of the system.

That is why I usually place results of an action on an indented
unbulleted line under the action command. The reader can quickly jump to
1 > 2 > 3 and get the job done - but people who are struggling with
what/how/when/where will get the additional "redundant" information.

Another subject I guess, but I realized how dangerous it is to assume
that the result is clear when I saw someone attempt to put together some
furniture using the IKEA pictures only. Well argued, a picture is worth
a thousand words - but I saw the person look at the pictures TOTALLY
befuddled by what they saw....

A small word legend on the diagram may be redundant to most people - but
some people would appreciate it. Does the cost justify the translation?
Probably not from some perspectives - but that is another discussion.

My only point - it really depends on the target audience as to the
redundancy needed.

Just a few philosophical thoughts on the issue...



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.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: RE: Display, Displays, or Appears
Next by Author: RE: "do not do x" vs "never do x"
Previous by Thread: Re: Display, Displays, or Appears?
Next by Thread: Re: Display, Displays, or Appears? <philosophical thoughts>

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads