Re: Note styles

Subject: Re: Note styles
From: debora ames <deboraames -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:04:55 +0000

Actually, I use all three also...for NOTE, TIP, WARNING, IMPORTANT!, and EXCEPTION text (different icons and colors).

On one job, I had to create enterprise-software (real-estate contract management) admin/user guides, by module, which came out to over 20 guides. Because of the mass of information involved and how it was important for users to pay attention to these references in order to be successful with the software, I wanted these references to stand out from being buried on a page. One day, a product manager told me he really liked the look of my guides, especially how I designed the references, and asked if I could make a manual out of them, like an "Important stuff you need to know, by module" kind of thing. But I was so busy, I never got time to do it.
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From: techwr-l-bounces+deboraames=hotmail -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l-bounces+deboraames=hotmail -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> on behalf of Wright, Lynne <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- Kronos -dot- com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:45 AM
To: Sion Lane; mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Note styles

" The word "Note" is the clearest way to point out that something is a note".

But why is knowing that it’s a note even relevant? If it’s a safety warning or something else that the reader really needs to be aware of, then you flag it with an exclamation point icon, which is pretty much the universal signal for "READ ME!". Otherwise, the formatting that Sion described makes it clear that its a bit of additional info; no need to label it as such.

-----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 Sion Lane
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 9:30 AM
To: mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Note styles

I agree with you, my argument is that should be one thing or the other – not both.

I disagree on the colour, it performs the job you describe of indicating where the note ends.

From: mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com [mailto:mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com]
Sent: 16 October 2018 14:22
To: Sion Lane <sion -dot- lane -at- unit4 -dot- com>; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Note styles

Drop the Icon. Drop the color. Add the word "Note".

The principles involved here are very simple:

* Be clear
* Avoid redundancy

The word "Note" is the clearest way to point out that something is a note. People might not know that the icon means. They might not know what the color means. They will certainly know what "Note" means.

Since the word "Note" is sufficient to indicate that a note is a note, the icon and the color are redundant and should be removed. You do need some kind of formatting to indicate where a note ends, such as a box or indentation of the note, but this should be the minimum necessary to do the job.

Mark

On 2018-10-16 8:53:03 AM, Sion Lane <sion -dot- lane -at- unit4 -dot- com<mailto:sion -dot- lane -at- unit4 -dot- com>> wrote:
We currently use appropriate icons, indentation and a different background to indicate notes, tips and warnings in our help topics and pdf content. A proposal has been made that we also use autonumbering to add the word 'Note' 'Tip' etc.

I feel this is overkill, the icon in conjunction with the background colour act as a visual representation of that word so to add the word as well makes it almost tautological. The nature of the message should also be obvious from the text itself. I should add that we do not currently have an 'About this Help' topic that explains the icons and there is no desire to add one.

What are other people's opinions?

Am I crazy to be so bothered about this?
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References:
Note styles: From: Sion Lane
Re: Note styles: From: mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com
RE: Note styles: From: Sion Lane
RE: Note styles: From: Wright, Lynne

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