Re: Illustration

Subject: Re: Illustration
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 07:51:32 PST

Tim Alton writes:

>Here's a conundrum...I once read a hypothetical (I THINK it was a
>hypothetical) situation in which a manual was reduced literally to nothing
>more than a comic book without even thought balloons to interrupt the
>graphical approach. Then, when a user was hurt by not following the
>instructions closely, he/she sued on the basis that any instructions that
>look like a comic book can't reasonably expect to be taken seriously, hence
>is containing its own seeds for being ignored.

This is true enough. Users do not derive their opinions from first
principles and logical analysis, but divide everything they encounter
into rough categories almost before they see them, and deal with things
on the basis of that categorization. A user who considers comic books
to be irrelevant kid stuff will throw away a comic-style manual almost
without noticing it, since to him it has no more relevance than the
plastic peanuts that surrounded the product.

If you want users to pay attention to the manual, it has to look like
a manual that must be paid attention to.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: Hot Topics
Next by Author: Re: Hiding your Lite Under a Bushel
Previous by Thread: Job Posting - Tech Writer - Virginia
Next by Thread: Re: Here she be!

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads