Say it with pictures

von Uta Lange am July 28, 2016

What comes to your mind when you see a picture of an umbrella? I think of a typical rainy day in Hamburg. In India, this image could trigger a completely different response  bad memories of the colonial era.

© Janis Abolins - Fotolia.com

 

Images in technical documentation show our readers which button to click, which pane to select, and which cable goes in which socket. With a screenshot or illustration, we can often explain more than with a long, descriptive text.

When we use images in documentation, we have to consider our target audience. Could our readers interpret an image differently, like in the example above? Could the image cause an unwanted reaction?

Images are important for international audiences. It's  not always given that the language of the documentation is also the native language of the reader. Images increase comprehensibility, warn against danger, or help avoid mistakes.

In the new knowledge base article "Visualize information - say it with pictures", Katrin Mehl and Elisabeth Fischer show how we can create a good and meaningful image, explain the different depiction types, and point out possible obstacles.

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Visualize information. Say it with pictures

von Katrin Mehl , Elisabeth Fischer am July 25, 2016

We often present technical information as text. The more complex the information, the more words we have to use. When we describe a complex engine with dozens of components, plugs, and valves, we sometimes need an additional form of presentation, such as an image. Images, like diagrams and illustrations, give the reader a visual layout of components, devices, or technical parts. more...