[no subject]

From: Pat Madea <madea -at- MMSI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 1995 11:16:51 MST

Solveig Haugland asks:

> What are the favored methods of presenting
>complicated navigation? Assume you have to make a selection from a menu on a
>menu bar, then make another selection from a small window that will appear.
>
>Option A: Choose System from the Setup menu, then choose Security from the
>System Setup palette.
>
>Option B (presenting the options in the order they should be chosen, but the
>phrasing is slightly awkward):
> From the Setup menu, choose System, then from the System Setup palette,
>choose Security.
>
>Option C: From the Setup menu, choose System, then choose Security.
>
>Option D (favored by our Training and Support departments): Choose System >
>Setup > Security.

As a user, I prefer Option D as being perfectly direct and concise.
However, whatever method you devise, PLEASE avoid (what I consider)
the backward instruction constructions evident in FrameMaker manuals
wherein the first (and sometimes second) navigational choice or
selection in a series of choices or selections is mentioned in the
MIDDLE or LAST with the last choice or selection mentioned FIRST. For
me, the user, that's backwards.

For example, in FM speak,

"Choose Headers & Footers > Insert Page # from the Format Menu"

means, in USER order,

from Main Menu, select Format,
then choose Headers & Footers,
then choose Insert Page #.

Your Option D above would handle this directly and consisely as

Menu > Format > Headers & Footers > Insert Page #.

It is much easier for me, the user, to understand how to navigate when
the starting point is at the beginning of the sentence or phrase and
not buried in the middle or at the end.

At least FM navigational instructions are fairly consistent in their
construction. When I encounter them, I immediately go the middle or
end of the sentence or phrase to determine where I'm supposed to start
from and then read the beginning of the phrase or sentence to finish
getting to where they intend me to go. <crazy>

There's my vote and my 2 bytes...

madea // madea -at- mmsi -dot- com


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