Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa?

Subject: Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa?
From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 10:56:30 -0700

Unless your UI is really messy, you'd want to add additional graphics any time you have multiple steps referencing the same UI element. And, of course, you'd start each new procedure with a paired graphic.

If the UI was messy enough that a separate graphic was needed for each step, I'd make it an icon that could be located in the step.

The problem with letters for callouts is that letters, unlike numbers, are not universally recognized across languages and will need to be translated if the document is localized.

And readers interpreting callout numbers as associated with numbered steps is a good thing if that's the way your document is supposed to be read.

Gene Kim-Eng


On 8/17/2018 7:42 AM, Lin Sims wrote:

My only qualm with this, handy as it can be, is that some steps may not be associated with an item on the UI. If you use one graphic as a reference, you potentially have a graphic with "missing" numbers, which I think would be confusing. The alternative would be to use a graphic for almost every step, which bloats the manual and requires a lot more work with graphics.

My current preference (subject to change with better data) is to use letters as callouts on the graphic and refer the reader to that callout letter. This was after much grumbling on my part, since my preference is to use numbers, not letters, but the argument that the reader could interpret the callout number as being associated with a numbered step was enough to convince me to change my ways.


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References:
For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa?: From: Lin Sims
Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa?: From: Peter Neilson
Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa?: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa?: From: Lin Sims

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