Re: Writing simple procedures

Subject: Re: Writing simple procedures
From: Gail Hodgson <gail -at- HPATO -dot- AUS -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 13:42:47 EST

Glenda Jeffrey wrote:

> The trouble is that our customers seem to run the gamut, from
> inexperienced folks who really aren't terribly computer literate,
> to people who work with sophisticated CAD programs all day long.
> I'm also dealing with an international audience, so I tend to
> think more explanation is better.

One good way I've seen people handle this problem is to separate the
procedural step from the additional information. You can do this using a
two column format, or by having a bold step followed by an explanation.
For example

1. Select the ??? icon. Move the mouse until the cursor is
positioned over the ??? icon; then
click the left mouse button.

1. *Select the ??? icon.* <-- imagine this bit is bold

Move the mouse .... etc. <-- not bold, and maybe even a smaller point size

Your experienced users can scan down the left column or bold steps
without having the explanation slow them down. Other users can refer
to the additional information when they need it.

Gail Hodgson
gail -at- hpato -dot- aus -dot- hp -dot- com

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