Subject: Boldface
From: Jim Morgan <jim -dot- morgan -at- ips-sendero -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 17:02:57 -0700

We are currently discussing whether there is any advantage, in procedures,
to bolding the names of control elements within the software (e.g., dialog
box names or text box & button labels). We know plenty of companies do
this, but is it worthwhile?

Our debate so far is between those who say:

"Bolding such items helps the user to focus on them just by scanning the
page. The user immediately knows what's important within the procedure. The
words 'jump out' at the user."

and those who say

"It's not worth the extra formatting time spent by the writer. The user
should be reading the entire sentence anyway. Besides, the page quickly
gets cluttered with too many bold words. They lose their impact after a
certain point."

Does anyone have any *real* statistics from *real* usability tests, not
just intuitive opinions or anecdotes? We have plenty of those.


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