Re: placement and annotation of screen captures in step-by-step instr uctions for software manuals

Subject: Re: placement and annotation of screen captures in step-by-step instr uctions for software manuals
From: Linda Castellani <linda -at- GRIC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 15:20:49 -0500

My preference is for Method One, and I absolutely agree with you about
call-outs. They clutter the page and are not necessary in addition to the
step-by-step explanations. Even if the call-out might clarify which button
to use in a row of buttons whose functions aren't immediately evident, I
think it's much clearer to capture the button and include it in the
step-by-step.

>Method One
>
>1. Run the program. Screen A appears.
>
><Screen A>
>
>2. On Screen A, click Next to reach Screen B.
>
><Screen B>
>
>Whenever the user is supposed to click somewhere on the screen, or type
>something into one of the fields on the screen, my supervisor wants me
>to draw a circle on the area of the screen, make a callout pointing to
>the circle, and explain in the callout to "Click Here" or "Type <xyz>
>Here." She wants these call-outs in addition to the regular step-by-step
>explanations. I think that so many circles and call-outs clutters the
>page and suggests that the reader isn't intelligent enough to get the
>necessary information from the numbered steps and accompanying screen
>captures. Am I overestimating the intelligence of the average reader?
>Should I include the call-outs?
>




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