RE: Display, Displays, or Appears

Subject: RE: Display, Displays, or Appears
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Chinell, David F (GE EntSol, Security)" <David -dot- Chinell -at- GE -dot- com>, "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 09:59:23 -0400

Chinell, David F said:

> Not in my shop. We only tell the reader where he or she is if there's
> high possibility of them being somewhere else instead.
> In short, we follow the MS MoS as best we are able. Here's what they
> say.
> "As a general rule, tell the user where the action should take place
> before describing the
> action to take. This prevents users from doing the right thing in the
> wrong place. However,
> avoid overloading procedures with locators. Assume that the user is
> looking at the screen
> and is starting from the position where the procedure begins. For
> example, the following
> phrasing is typical: "On the View menu, click Zoom."

I think it's possible that the writers of Help (and such) for The GIMP,
OpenOffice, and several other programs might not have embraced the MMoS.
I often find that instructions for performing a task start with a menu
or option but don't tell me how I got to that menu. I then start looking
through all the menu-bar items, then right-clicking everything in sight,
then trying other measures to invoke this-or-that tool-bar that (I might
not know until I open it) is the place to find the menu I needed.

Of course, since Microsoft began having most of their MS Office Help on
their servers, instead of on my computer, I also find that I encounter
"chunk" task instructions that don't identify how one gets to the
chunk's starting point.

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RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Downing, David
RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Downing, David
RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Chinell, David F (GE EntSol, Security)

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