A Picture Almost Always Needs a Lean Lecture

Although images as visual cues provide adequate information about a certain object or aspect, we often encounter scenarios in which a clearly-crafted diagram alone does not aid the comprehension of readers. A fairly fleshed-out commentary is required to supplement the pictorial representation, more of in the case of process workflows of modules and network line-arts that show circuitry. A screenshot, at best, can reside independently without a complementing description, barring cases in which icons need explanation as thumbnail images. Also, manuals that describe hardware or mechanical products require a higher degree of images or photos to explain installing, mounting, and troubleshooting procedures. In essence, the complexity and context of a discussed matter determines the need for allied articulation beside illustrations.

What can the audience expect to learn

This presentation attempts to offer a few tips and tidbits to help working with illustrators and identifying situations where verbiage for images is warranted.

Meet the presenter

This is Sairam; I’ve been with Qualcomm for the last 3.5 years. I possess ~19 years of experience in the information-development and content-authoring realm, largely catering to end-user documentation and information-products of a wide range of applications/platforms for networking and telecommunication. I’ve also authored user-facing manuals for enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. Starting off as an instructional designer and moving on to be a technical communicator, I’ve worked extensively on modular documentation, handled information architecture tasks, and participated in usability enhancements. I’ve also mentored new hires, and assisted/guided writers with content-presentation and resolving XML authoring tool problems. XMetal and ArborText Editor have been the XML tools I’ve used in the past.
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