White space in manuals

Subject: White space in manuals
From: Jeanette Evans <evans -at- MR -dot- PICKER -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 09:51:00 -0500

Hello folks,

Can anyone provide me with specific references material to support that
idea that the use of white space in user documents can help users find
information to better complete tasks and recover from errors?

Every now and then there are rumblings of resistance to the use of white
space in our manuals (gee, why do we need all that white space in our
manuals?) and I feel that specific information and citations of this
kind could help us justify our use of white space.

Our documents have won STC awards (with never any mention of white space
problems), are very conservative in the use of white space, are
consistent in white space use with what we see in other manuals, and
based on surveys we have done are useful to our users.

While we're at it, what would you say the latest is on is a conservative
amount of white space on a page (10%, 15%, 25%, or what?) and what
references can you give me on that too?

Jeanette Evans
evans -at- mr -dot- picker -dot- com

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