User manuals provide a road map for the user. Many technical writers embed screen shots or images into documents to aid the user in seeing what a product or application is composed of, how a task is achieved, and most importantly, what not to do. But there are always questions as to where and how many images should be embedded, should the image take up a full or half a page, plus where should the placement of text be set for the image; adjacent, above, below, etc. Is there another solution?
Technical writers or communicators should always try to find a simpler way to display how one can navigate from one area to another or how to define or describe systems, applications, and products. Many new solutions or products have evolved now where we can just develop slide shows to display, describe, and to project what has to be done, can be done, and what cannot be done visually. They use it for marketing, education, enhancing their product, sharing of knowledge, etc. Many of these new platforms are now cloud-based and provide good security and file sharing.
Once slides are created, individuals just need to select the desired file, and at their own pace, just click the appropriate option to move from one screen shot to the next for viewing. Slide shows are easy, convenient and entertaining. Many organizations now create various tutorials with cleverly designed characters to help describe what the object of the presentations are about.
Creators can now animate the characters depicting faces with different emotions (depending on the situation of the event). We are part of a generation where we can use the right side of the brain for displaying our artistic skills and enjoy the outcomes of creative designs for wire framing, mapping, storyboarding, etc.
These slide shows or presentations make it easy for us to socially communicate, share knowledge, and collaborate on the web or through any popular medium. Even children at the age of 2 know how to touch an icon on a tablet or screen and know that by doing so, their favorite video will appear. I know this for a fact because my little nephew can do it.
Slide shows cannot completely take the place of user manuals, but they are a great option that is now available for us to use. Presentations cannot be created any easier than they are today. We can apply animation, audio, and visual to convey our documentation, tutorials, and anything else that has to be communicated. We also get to have fun while creating it for our audience.
Fun is mentioned because it is holiday time and close to the end of the year and I’m smiling because I’m happy that we have such wonderful readers of our website. It’s time to say Thank You all for being our readers this past year and for sharing your thoughts with us. Have a Wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year. Happy reading in 2014.