Fwd: Re: RE: Use of screenshots in procedures?

Subject: Fwd: Re: RE: Use of screenshots in procedures?
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 11:29:03 -0500 (CDT)

Reasons to include many screen shots:

1. Your audience is not proficient in English but is using an English-language manual. The screen shots provide confirmation that the process is going correctly.

2. Your UI is sufficiently complicated or feature-heavy that there is a lot going on in each window and you have to make multiple references to fields, lists, etc.

Reasons to minimize the number of screen shots:

1. Increases the cost of translation -- every screen shot has to be retaken in the target language, and all callouts have to be translated.

2. If you generate online help from the source file, it is very unhelpful to the users to have a help system that replicates the windows that are open online. Too much potential for confusion as to which is the active window and takes up too much screen space.

That's all I can think of off-hand.

In my recent contracts, I've seen a strong movement toward reducing the number of screen shots in user docs.


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