Re: Click to add/To add, click

Subject: Re: Click to add/To add, click
From: Heli Roosild <HeliR -at- MSMAILHQ -dot- NETIMAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 16:06:00 PST

And adding another branch to the fire ... I make a distinction between
"Click Y to do X" and "To do X, click Y."

I use the former (Click to add) when the user really has no choice of
action if the procedure is to continue. In this case, the "to ..." part
acts as system feedback.

I use the latter (To add, click) when the user does have a choice. For
example, there could be any number of reasons why a user might not want
to exit immediately (step 6) in the following series:

4. Click OK to add the user.
5. If you want to add another user, repeat steps 2 and 3.
6. To exit, click Close.

As for the "If you want to" construct, I use that to flag truly optional
steps for the user. If s/he DOESN'T want to, s/he can skip reading the
rest of the instruction.

I know, I know--far too subtle and subliminal for anyone but an
anal-retentive to even notice.


~~Heli
helir -at- netimage -dot- com

"Prohibit severely the rehearsed response." --Auden

----------
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA[SMTP:geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA]
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 1997 1:58 PM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Click to add

Just to throw another log on the fire... I'd actually
prefer to see most of the imperative instructions we've
seen during this thread reversed: Rather than "Click Y to
do X", go with "To do X, click Y". (Rationale: Provide
context before details. Relevant jargon: "metadiscourse",
"using advance organisers", etc.)

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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