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

Subject: Re: Display, Displays, or Appears? <philosophical thoughts>
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "Hemstreet, Deborah" <DHemstreet -at- kaydon -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 01:22:15 -0700

Hemstreet, Deborah wrote:
> 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.

Well done! If I had to choose one policy for all documentation, this
would be my choice.

But when I have the option, I think the value of giving each result
increases with the importance, complexity, or amount of time required to
perform the procedure. I don't know if Minimalism tries to account for
this, but my experience testing procedures I've been given tells me that
knowing the correct result is useful.

For this confirmation of a correct result to be redundancy, the result
would have to be 100% intuitive, foolproof, or risk-free.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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

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