Images and Mobile Help

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Images and Mobile Help

Postby ccardimon on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:44 am

I have a question for those of you who produce Mobile output. How do you deal with images, screen shots, etc?

I usually produce PDF output. In the docs I create, I try to provide an overall image of the screen being discussed, then I zero in on the areas of the screen as I explain them in the documentation.

I feel as though I need to drastically reduce the number and size of the screen shots when dealing with Mobile output. Am I correct?
Craig

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Re: Images and Mobile Help

Postby LTinker68 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:02 am

I have not worked with mobile at all, but I suggest looking at http://www.nngroup.com/topic/mobile-and ... esign/all/ and perhaps downloading some of their research guides on usability for mobile apps. Your help would be vastly different for use on smartphones than it would for use on a tablet, due to screen real estate. You wouldn't want images in your help on a smartphone, for example, because even the largest smartphones still don't have a lot of space for images, unless you're showing cut-down images, and even then, your users probably want the info, not a screenshot of something they're already seeing. With tablets, you have a bit more room to work with.

So I recommend you do some research on mobile app usability before getting too far.
Image

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Re: Images and Mobile Help

Postby ccardimon on Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:03 am

Thanks, Lisa.
Craig

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Re: Images and Mobile Help

Postby RamonS on Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:59 am

You may want to look into using screen portraits.See this excellent blog post:
https://techwritetips.wordpress.com/200 ... portraits/
Screen portraits can be reduced in size without losing much of the detail because they start off with as little detail as necessary. They also do not need to be redone for every small change and are much better suited for docs that need to be translated.

Then again, with screen space in short supply you may want to figure out a way to limit any imagery to the least amount possible. Printed manuals that are to be used away from the application benefit greatly from screen shots or screen portraits. Online help on the other hand is used side by side with the application, so there is little need to show a picture in the help of a screen the user is looking at anyway. In some cases that may even be more confusing to user.
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