RE: Introducing graphics

Subject: RE: Introducing graphics
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "'Kevin Feeman'" <Kevin -dot- Feeman -at- micromass -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 11:56:31 -0500


And MS Project is one of the most universally despised pieces of
commercially software available. Why? Because it's not intuitive, it
doesn't do what you expect it to do, and the user's manual doesn't explain
it very well. I've never yet met a project manager who willingly or gladly
uses it.

I've be seeing a lot of general comment regarding the use of graphics that
mention research suggesting that use of graphics (within good design
limitations) enhance the user's ability to learn. There are a whole lot of
visual learners out there who would glance once at a user guide without
graphics and immediately proclaim it worthless. Technical reference guides
are often a different story. And Microsoft seems to break its rules and
guidelines as soon as they proclaim them.

And of course the Techwhirlers mantra applies here: It depends on your
audience. I think I'd be much more likely to use simple graphics in a user
guide than in a technical reference document.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Feeman

Aoidìn Scully writes: f the text was "Click the Add button.", would you have
the graphic showing the Add button before or after the text? </snip>

Personally, I don't know if I would have a picture of the Add button,
especially if it was in a user's guide. I am leaning more and more away from
using graphics for simple buttons and menus, especially if they are
described in a reference guide. I looked at a lot of other software manuals
by big name companies, and many of them do not use a lot of graphics in
their user manuals, only in the reference guides. For example, in Mircosoft
Project 98 User's Guide, many of the procedures are simple text without

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