RE: "Button Gravity" and "Warning Gravity"

Subject: RE: "Button Gravity" and "Warning Gravity"
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 08:35:07 -0600

From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
Subject: "Button Gravity" and "Warning Gravity"


Why do we tech writers suffer from some kind of Note! Gravity, Caution!
Gravity, and Warning! Gravity? Very, very often when I inherit a
document, I find the Notes, etc., at the end of the procedure to which
they apply, sometimes far below the steps they concern. This is not so
bad for notes and cautions, but warnings!

"The users who got electrocuted are going to be mad when they finally
get to the warning!" That's what I always think!


Do you see a lot of this?



Kind of like the instructions for pulling the pin on a hand grenade and
throwing the grenade that have a warning *after* the whole procedure
that you only have ten seconds to perform the operation. Well, if you
were smart, you would have read everything before doing anything.

I do believe in putting notes, cautions, and warnings immediately after
the step they apply to, but we're discouraged from breaking up bulleted
and numbered lists. The solution I came up with for something as
important as a warning was to put it before the whole list of steps and
try to phrase it so it applies to the whole general procedure, rather
than to just one step.

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