Re: Click to add

Subject: Re: Click to add
From: Brad Barnes <kiwi -at- BEST -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 22:34:55 -0800

Geoff:

I agree with you. The rule I follow is to try to maintain a logical and
sequential flow in imperative instructions. "To do X, click Y" is one
approach I use. The other approach I use, in a similar vein, is to orient
the user, but only when necessary. I orient the user when the screen changes
or a new window opens.

From the ABC window, click Y.

I do make exception when I need to orient and use the dependent infinitive
clause:

To do X, click Y from the ABC window.

I detest imperative instructions that state things in a convoluted, reversed
order. An example of such:

Choose Rename from the File menu to rename your file. <Yuck!>

Brad Barnes
Technical Writer
Resumix Inc.
brad -at- resumix -dot- com
kiwi -at- best -dot- com


At 12:58 PM 3/26/97 -0600, you wrote:
> 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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>

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