Re: Figures/graphics in user manuals

Subject: Re: Figures/graphics in user manuals
From: Sella Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 19:49:40 -0400

Once again, an issue that depends on the audience level. My audience
(experienced users/programmers) would probably prefer to keep a
procedure on one page rather than multiple pages with full graphic
coverage. While I will usually include a screen shot of unfamiliar
dialog boxes (depending on how complex they are), I would never include
boxes that used generic Windows format, such as file open, save, or
print.

I see no point whatsoever in including screen shots or even outside
documentation of wizards. The whole point of a wizard is to include
documentation as part of the process, telling the user step by step what
to do. Our wizards have a panel on the left that tells the user what
each step is and what they're supposed to do. Also, each step is
numbered with a big bright number. Generally, our wizards walk a user
through a step that could also be done without the wizard. I document
the non-wizard step in the user guide, and document the wizard in the
wizard. The documentation might say for example: "To generate a query,
enter appropriate syntax in the Query field," (followed by detailed
instructions on creating a CCM query) "or use the Query Wizard to help
you formulate an accurate query."

I always include tool button graphics because they're a nice visual cue.
It tells them specifically what to do rather than just providing a touch
point for reassurance.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sella Rush
mailto:sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington USA
Developers of the CCM Database




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