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Reference: Do you use the correct symbols when documenting instructions?

Last updated by Tiago Araujo on 13 Dec 2018 01:33 am (almost 3 years ago) See History

An important area which Microsoft does not apply strict standards to, is documenting instructions. This is often a confusing dilemma for many people, as the way in which instructions are worded and arranged is very important in helping the user understand the instructions. Therefore, the instructions should be minimalistic, clear and concise.

In Ken Getz's words, you MUST ALWAYS list the items in the order the user selects them. I often see on Microsoft documentation: 'Select All Programs from the Start menu'. That's inexcusable!

Click Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, then Calculator.

Figure: Bad Example - No visual cue is given for separate steps

Start - All Programs - Accessories - Calculator

Figure: Bad Example - Dashes are easy to glance over

Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> Calculator

Figure: Bad Example - This is better but looks unprofessional

Start | All Programs | Accessories | Calculator

Figure: Good Example

Adam CoganAdam Cogan

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