RE: Window terminology

Subject: RE: Window terminology
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Chinell, David F \(GE EntSol, Security\)" <David -dot- Chinell -at- GE -dot- com>, "Technical Writing" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 15:48:41 -0700

Chinell, David wrote:

> The window has a title bar, a menu bar, a tool bar, and a status bar.
> The bit in the middle is divided into two panes. But what IS the bit
in
> the middle called? The body of the window?

The window. Just like in your house, where windows have parts like the
frame, sill, stiles, and rails, but you usually just refer to the whole
thing: "The kitchen window has 4 panes, but the dining room window has
6."

At first, I thought you wanted to know the name of the divider between
panes. It's a muntin. Or maybe a mullion or stile, depending on how you
apply the window metaphor. But don't you dare throw one of those terms
at your readers. :-)

Unless you're writing about UI design or development, the less you
burden readers with UI design terminology, the better. They generally
don't care about the difference between a menu bar and a tool bar, or
between a list box and a combo box. Knowing the names of these things
doesn't help them with their tasks, it just increases the cognitive
burden.

As Geoff suggested, focus on what they're interested in, e.g., "the file
list."

Oh, and happy weekend, everyone!

Richard


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-777-0436
------










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References:
Nice story: "Tech firm writing manual of success": From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Nice story: "Tech firm writing manual of success": From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Nice story: "Tech firm writing manual of success": From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Nice story: "Tech firm writing manual of success": From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Nice story: "Tech firm writing manual of success": From: Cardimon, Craig
Window terminology: From: Chinell, David F (GE EntSol, Security)

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