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kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com replied to Vincent Latella:
> Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:14 PM
> To: Latella,Vincent
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: Landscape vs. Portrait
> Vincent, I've used landscape to present some types of info when it was
> necessary to make the content legible (e.g., a lighting plan for a
> house). Never used it for screens or screen shots, but I think it's a
> better solution than running it across two pages (trying to see that
> from the user's perspective, that is).
Yeah. As somebody else mentioned, there's the matter of binding.
My experience, back when we did paper manuals, was that you could design your layout for a given sort of binding - if a drawing (or screen-cap) will spread across two pages, you want a type of binding that will allow it all to be visible - but you couldn't necessarily control whether that type of binding was eventually used.
More than once, I've had a manual completed, expecting it to be perfect-bound, and instead it gets a spiral or a big clamp at the spine, due to low print volumes.... or gets run off on 8.5x11... single-sided.
I've always hated encountering an illustration or map or whatever that disappeared into the black hole of a poor binding job, usually having the critical info right at the page-split... invisibly deep in the crease.
Making the entire document landscape (short-side binding) or at least having the big screen-caps on their own landscape-oriented pages seems a safer approach.
Of course, everybody needs to accomodate any industry peculiarities for their niche. If all your books will be mounted in a frame on a goose-neck that allows a technician to read it, hands-free, while working on a piece of equipment, then your book has to fit both the size and orientation expectations.
Personally, I think that manuals should all be loadable onto a personal, book-sized, floating/hovering, voice (or thought?) controlled, e-book reader, such that it rotates itself according to content, zooms on request, etc.
Or we could go directly to the visual-cortex link that makes an intention-/attention-driven in-the-head heads-up display.
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