RE: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?

Subject: RE: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?
From: "Wright, Lynne" <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- Kronos -dot- com>
To: Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 14:41:29 +0000

Use number bubbles to label different elements in the diagram, and use number bubbles in the callout table to create an obvious association between the callouts and the diagram.

Use a regular numbered list for procedures. I also add a "To" statement before procedures (ie. "To configure the x module), formatted in a different color than the procedure text, so that its easy to differentiate a procedure from other content.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> On Behalf Of Lin Sims
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:30 AM
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?

I should say that my coworker is being extremely reasonable about this.
He's perfectly happy to use numbers if we (or I, rather) can come up with a way to ensure there's no possibility of ambiguity or confusion on the reader's part by having a labeled diagram followed by a callout table followed by a procedure. He has run into that when documenting fire control panels at a previous job, so it's a very valid reason for using letters for callouts and numbers for procedures. I just think there should be a way of making clear what's going on without having to use two separate systems to label a diagram.

So maybe I'm wrong? I dunno at this point.

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 10:22 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> No, it's one or the other, not both. The problem he sees is that if
> the procedure immediately follows the callout table that immediately
> follows the labeled graphic, then you have three "1" in a row and he
> finds that ambiguous. He's worked at prior positions where it has confused the user.
>
> I can see his point on that.
>
> He's not amenable to using a different font or inserting the word "Step"
> into the numbering, though.
>
> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 9:56 AM, <sharipunyon -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
>> So, if there are both procedure references and callouts in the same
>> diagram? In that case, use different formats for the numbers.
>>
>> If you are just worried that users will see a graphic with callouts
>> and a separate procedure, just keep the callouts with the graphic,
>> and separate them graphically from the rest of the text- for example
>> in a table, or a smaller font. It should just be clear that the
>> callouts travel with the graphic. Iâve seen it down frequently, with great clarity.
>>
>> > On Apr 24, 2018, at 9:38 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Resolution: he's fine with numbers if we can figure out a way to
>> > ensure that people don't get confused if there is both a graphic
>> > with a number
>> key
>> > AND a procedure. I can get behind that--ambiguity is bad.
>> >
>> > Now to figure out a way to remove the ambiguity. If anyone has
>> > pointers
>> on
>> > that, let me know. I'll consult the book for a bit and see if it
>> > has
>> ideas.
>> >
>> > Thanks for all the feedback.
>> >
>> >> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 8:50 AM, Rosalma Arcelay
>> >> <rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net>
>> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> No one is spelling out numbers. I use Arabic digits when I label a
>> >> diagram. My coworker uses letters.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Oh, that makes more sense now! :)
>> >>
>> >> Maybe a coin toss?
>> >>
>> >> Rosie Arcelay
>> >> Technical Writer II
>> >> cPanel, Inc.
>> >> rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On Apr 24, 2018, at 7:30 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> No one is spelling out numbers. I use Arabic digits when I label a
>> >> diagram. My coworker uses letters. We want to be consistent
>> >> between
>> the two
>> >> of us, and we're disagreeing on which is better to use when
>> >> labeling
>> areas
>> >> in a piece of hardware, locations in a floorplan, or in a software UI.
>> >>
>> >> I did do some research on the book I showed him, the one he
>> >> rejected as "the writer doesn't know what he's talking about".
>> >> Turns out the
>> writer is
>> >> a trained graphic designer, has a 350-cite bibliography, and this
>> >> book
>> is
>> >> referenced in a lot of other books about illustrating technical
>> information.
>> >>
>> >> We'll see how it goes after I point this out to him. We've not
>> >> been working together too long, but so far we've managed to
>> >> compromise on
>> pretty
>> >> much everything where our personal styles differ. I'd say we're
>> >> about
>> 50/50
>> >> on that, which is good.
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 8:18 AM, Rosalma Arcelay
>> >> <rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net>
>> wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> I donât think I have ever seen a graphic with numbers spelled out.
>> >>> That being said, the first question I would ask isâ Who is your
>> >>> user
>> and
>> >>> how will they be using this graphic?
>> >>> If itâs a graphic thatâs meant to be scannable (aka, read
>> >>> quickly), I would go with the numbers. Same if itâs being translated.
>> >>> If itâs not, and itâs something thatâs going into a magazine, for
>> >>> example, where people are taking their time to read it, then
>> >>> spelling
>> out
>> >>> numbers might work (even though it would be weird, imo).
>> >>>
>> >>> Rosie Arcelay
>> >>> Technical Writer II
>> >>> cPanel, Inc.
>> >>> rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> On Apr 24, 2018, at 1:54 AM, Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> If not too much text is involved, I'd used call-outs/bubbles with
>> >>> the actual explanation inside.
>> >>> HTH,
>> >>> Erika
>> >>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Lin Sims
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > Lin Sims
>> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content
>> > strategy
>> and content development | http://techwhirl.com
>> >
>> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> >
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>
>
>
> --
> Lin Sims
>



--
Lin Sims
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims
RE: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Erika Yanovich
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Rosalma Arcelay
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Rosalma Arcelay
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: sharipunyon
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims

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