TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
>I'm taking this approach in the training manual I'm writing - it seems to
>well for relatively simple procedures - it breaks down for more complex ones,
>however - the graphics get too hard to read.
>>From: Melinda M. Carr[SMTP:melindac -at- CAPSOFT -dot- COM]
>>Sent: Thursday, October 31, 1996 12:47 PM
>>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>>Subject: Re: Procedural Steps
>>We tried something new in our manual that is about to ship that might
>>come back to haunt us.
>>The main step-by-step procedure in each topic begins with bolded text
>>saying "To blah blah blah" and then lists in a paragraph the step or
>>steps needed to get to the first major dialog box. (Usually something
>>like, "Select blah blah and click blah.") Then we display the dialog box
>>and have the rest of the steps as callouts to the graphic. (My boss does
>>put more text in the paragraph than I. I'd like to convice him to
>>Less common steps that are related to the main step-by-step are listed as
>>hints at the bottom of the page.
>>I was a little uncomfortable about abandoning the numbered steps, but I
>>think the new format is easier to read and understand because it
>>integrates the text and the graphics more tightly. It also makes the book
>>easier to browse because topics take up fewer pages, so related topics
>>are closer together.
>>Have any of you done something similar? We think our users will like it
>>(we had some positive feedback from internal and external beta testers),
>>but I have to admit that this discussion has made me a little nervous
>>about the wisdom of making the change.
>>Melinda (melindac -at- capsoft -dot- com)