Re: Including screen captures

Subject: Re: Including screen captures
From: Eric Haddock <eric -at- ENGAGENET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 07:46:09 -0300

If your product is GUI you need screen captures. The whole point of GUI
is to be visual, and to leave that element out of the instruction material
is like having a wine tasting competition using just printed words (after
all, there are so many wines and they're all so different--it's prohibitive
to actually sample them all and hey--if you can write good, it don't matter
none anyhow, right?).

I have screen captures in my documentation and what happens when the
product changes enough that the screen capture would too? We issue an update
to the manual. They're distributed in binders so adding new pages isn't
difficult, and we've found that the customers actually do update their
manuals appropriately when we issue the updates.

Your employer should realize that issuing updates or manual revisions is
just the cost of doing business--it has to be done. It's up to them to
figure out how to do it. Go with the binder method like we have, issue one
sheet bulletins, post things on a web page--whatever.

Oh and hey--if what's seen on the screen changes, then surely the text
would have to change too--so what difference does it make if there are
screen captures or not if you have to change the text anyway?
/`-_ Eric Haddock, Technical writer
{ }/ Engage Networks, Inc.
\ | Located in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee, WI
\__*| eric -at- engagenet -dot- com
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