Re: Figures/graphics in user manuals

Subject: Re: Figures/graphics in user manuals
From: John Posada <john -at- TDANDW -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 10:03:30 -0400

Ellen...interesting timing for this question.

I'm documententing a billing system done in Access97. The way the system
was designed, there are segments of the process where you might get as
many as 12-15 dialog boxes one after another. At each dialog box, you
click Yes.

When I started putting this on paper, I wrote "This process will result
in a series of 12 dialog boxes. Please select Yes for each one."
However, two things changed my mind and made me agree to show each shot
one after another.

1) During the writing of the documentation, an error happened in the
base system and the Access administrator asked the user for the exact
point that the error cropped up. It happend to have happened in the
middle of a series of confirmations and had I had each one, it would
have made debugging alot easier and faster.

2) Just this morning, I did a run-through with a new operator (with the
experienced operator watching), and I cannot tell you how many times the
new person mentioned that showing the process step by step made her feel
that at every step, she was more comfortable running it because she
could verify that she was doing it exactly right. vote goes for the show everything.


Campana, Ellen, , SAM-GATQ wrote:
> I am looking for guidance in the use of figures and graphics in user
> manuals. Specifically, we have a user who wants a screen shot, a picture
> of the appropriate button, and a picture of the menu for every topic or
> step (Also, a screen shot for every step of the wizards). I was
> wondering how much is too much, or is there no such thing, and it is
> entirely dependent on what the user wants.
> I would appreciate any information on resources dealing with this topic,
> as well as your personal experiences and opinions. The manual is for a
> decision support system application, and the users are expected to have a
> working knowledge of Windows 95.
> Thanks -
> Ellen
> -----------------------------
> Ellen C. Campana
> Technical Writer
> Single Agency Manager (SAM)-GATQ
> 1600 Air Force Pentagon
> Washington, DC 20330-1600
> 703.588.0321
> ellen -dot- campana -at- comm -dot- hq -dot- af -dot- mil
John Posada, Technical Writer (and proud of the title)
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