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Subject:Re: File->Open From:"Parks, Beverly" <ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL> Date:Wed, 11 Jun 1997 10:31:21 -0700
>From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA[SMTP:geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA]
> I can't imagine anyone having difficulty understanding
> File->Open, but it nonetheless happens, and I've been
> computing for too long to be a typical reader. So, putting
> on my information design hat, let's think visually for a
> moment and see if there's another way. Got it... how about
> a diagram of the open menu, with the appropriate sequence
> of actions highlighted? For a single-step command, there'd
> be a graphic of the File menu with the Open command
> highlighted; for a multi-step command (e.g., with cascading
> menus), you'd add to this the second menu in the hierarchy,
> with the next command highlighted, and so on for
> third-level menus.
I already use this approach, and I'm sure I can't be the only one. I
have two sections for each menu topic in my manual: Quick Steps and
Descriptive Steps. The Quick Steps have no explanation and no graphics.
The File > Open convention is used liberally. The Descriptive Steps list
the same steps as in Quick Steps, but are accompanied by descriptions
and screen shots. The graphic that follows step 1, which is usually
something like "Choose Resource Mgmt > Directorate > Manpower >
Personnel", is a screen shot of just the menu portion of the window
showing the cascading menus with the appropriate selections highlighted.