Re: Quotation marks around user interface labels

Subject: Re: Quotation marks around user interface labels
From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 09:15:12 -0700

Given my choice, I don't use character styles for UI elements, text
strings, and so on. I don't think the value added for the user is
proportional to the additional work required.

For example, "Select Tools > Out of Office Assistant > 'Send Out of
Office auto-replies' > OK" takes me 15 seconds to type. Apply
individual emphasis tags to each of the four UI elements and, unless
the tool you're using makes it easy to apply the right tag from the
keyboard, it takes two or four times as long. Some people would split
it into numbered steps, which might double it again. Follow the MS
style guide slavishly and you might add another 50 or 100 words. Add
some screen shots and 15 seconds of typing has turned in to fifteen
minutes of busywork.

I would probably be less prejudiced against that more elaborate
approach if I hadn't inherited so many user guides that were simply a
highly formatted narrative of the UI with no additional information.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Quotation marks around user interface labels: From: Nancy Allison
RE: Quotation marks around user interface labels: From: Robart, Kay
RE: Quotation marks around user interface labels: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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