RE: Click X, or click the X button?

Subject: RE: Click X, or click the X button?
From: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
To: "Robert Lauriston" <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, "techwr-l List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 10:53:20 -0700



Leonard

Using screen captures doesn't necessarily equate to writing bloated
documents. And again, "bloat" is defined by the audience. Personally, I
find some of the documentation I create slightly bloated (but not
because of screen captures of buttons and icons). HOWEVER, my users tell
me they want even more screen shots! They like a lot of hand holding.

As for research, in the absence of feedback that is representative of
the majority of my users, I appreciate it and tend to defer to it as I
do not consider myself and my experience to be the measure of all
things.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
om] On Behalf Of Robert Lauriston
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 5:56 PM
To: techwr-l List
Subject: Re: Click X, or click the X button?

I'm less concerned about research than about complaints from customers
that the documentation was bloated. There's no advantage to the user
to have a, say, seven-step procedure spread over three and a half
pages in order to provide screen shots that duplicate what they see on
screen.

On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 5:40 PM, Leonard C. Porrello
<Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com> wrote:
>
> Extra time? Hardly. It takes about three seconds to insert an already
> captured image and about 30 seconds to capture a brand new image
(which
> I rarely need to do). The benefit to the user is well worth the
> (negligible) time investment.
>
> As for slowing down users, again, the research doesn't agree. But
maybe
> you are imagining something that I am not thinking of. The screen
> captures of buttons and icons I use don't significantly add to the
> length of my documentation.
>
> And finally, as far as I know, minimalism says nothing about using
more
> or fewer screen captures.
>
> But it seems that you are more interested in anecdotal accounts than
> research or systematic theories. So, I'll add my two cents. I find
that
> having a complete screen capture at the top of a help page orients
> users, and having screen captures of buttons and icons along the way
> enables users to scan pages more quickly. Instead of utilizing only
> verbal processing, having to read every word, in-line screen captures
of
> buttons and icons enable the "reader" to utilize the cognitive
processes
> required for reading as well as those required for visual processing.
By
> being able to use more of his brain (inferior frontal gyrus,
> parieto-temporal area, and occipito-temporal area for reading and the
> visual cortex for graphics), the user is able to work through a help
> page more quickly while understanding it and how it is related to the
> GUI more thoroughly.
>
> But as someone else mentioned, it all comes down to audience. I would
> agree that an audience that doesn't need step-by-step directions also
> doesn't need screen captures of buttons and icons.
>
> Leonard
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
> om] On Behalf Of Robert Lauriston
> Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:22 PM
> To: techwr-l List
> Subject: Re: Click X, or click the X button?
>
> It slows down users because when the content is cluttered with
> unnecessary images they have to scroll more.
>
> Usually when I see that stuff there's lots of other makework filler.
> At one of my old jobs, one doc shrank from 2000 pages to 130 after we
> switched to a more minimalist approach.
>
> Even if there is some marginal benefit to users, I don't believe that
> it could possibly be enough to justify the extra time the tech writer
> has to spend doing it.
>
> On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 3:00 PM, Leonard C. Porrello
> <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com> wrote:
>> I suppose it's busy work if you're stuck in 1987 and unable to single
> source. In-line with text, I use just an image of the button. And the
> research indicates that this approach is optimal for the user, aiding
in
> "identifying and locating window elements and objects" (Gellevij
2002).
>>
>> Leonard
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
> techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
> om] On Behalf Of Robert Lauriston
>> Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 1:45 PM
>> To: techwr-l List
>> Subject: Re: Click X, or click the X button?
>>
>> You include a screen capture for every button? Even Save and Next?
>> Cropped to the button, whole dialog, or what?
>>
>> To me, that's tech-writer busywork that leads to bloated docs and
>> slows down readers. I do that only when the UI is bad and it's clear
>> that the user will have trouble finding the UI element.
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 1:38 PM, Leonard C. Porrello
>> <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com> wrote:
>>> I use an actual screen capture of the buttons and say "Click X"
> (where X
>>> is the screen capture).
>>>
>>> Leonard
>>>
>
>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!
http://www.helpandmanual.com/

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as
Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/leonard.porrello%40so
leratec.com


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
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

---
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 http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


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
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


References:
Click X, or click the X button?: From: jennysubs
RE: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Leonard C. Porrello
Re: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Leonard C. Porrello
Re: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Leonard C. Porrello
Re: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Robert Lauriston

Previous by Author: RE: Click X, or click the X button?
Next by Author: RE: Subject: Recommended web site programs
Previous by Thread: Re: Click X, or click the X button?
Next by Thread: RE: Click X, or click the X button?


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

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads