Please select Microsoft Team and Zoom as the primary collaborative apps our group recommended.
Technical Communication, Ch. 20, p. 555.
1. Search for written, not video, instructions for the collaborative app your group recommended. You may find them on the app website or on other websites.
2. Try to find two (2) different examples of instructions, one text-only and the other with visuals. Here are examples:
– Google help (text only)
– Adobe Acrobat (visuals)
3. Copy/paste a sample from the sets of instructions into a google doc. It’s okay if the formatting is not perfect. If this isn’t possible, just link to the instructions in the google doc.
4. For both sets of instructions, choose 5 of the criteria below in the bullet points that most apply to weaknesses in the instruction samples you chose. Explain what is ineffective and how you would improve it.
Please organize your answers for easy reading.
Guidelines for Instructions
Annotate your instructions, using arrows, highlights, or other formatting features within the screenshot. These help the user know where to click and/or look.
Smoothly incorporate text and images. Make it self-evident which images go with which text through placement and language in steps.
Create a title for each set of instructions.
Write an introduction to your instructions that states their purpose along with what the reader can expect to achieve. You may add the time needed to complete the task as well.
Break up the procedure into the appropriate number of steps arranged in the proper, most logical order.
Distinguish between actions or steps, feedback statements (things that happen as a result of actions (e.g., “Now you will see X”), and notes (added important information)
Use headings and subheadings where appropriate.
Use font sizes that are large enough and proportionate to graphic formats.
Use white space effectively (open, airy design). Use appropriate margins to create white space.
Use appropriate line spacing so that the instructions arent cluttered or busy.
Use contrasting colors with images and annotations effectively for maximum viewability.
Use simple, imperative language with action verbs in your steps.
Avoid jargon and abbreviations your audience may not know.
Use typography, color, and other formatting features consistently.
Do not omit articles (e.g., the, a, an).
Use plain language (avoid jargon and undefined abbreviations; use common language).
Distinguish between software-specific language and language of your steps using formatting features (bold, italics, color, caps, etc.)