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Class 5: Using graphics Introduction to graphics Samples of different graphics Guidelines for using in documents Methods for creating Another Channel for Learning

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Class 5: Using graphics

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class 5 using graphics

Class 5: Using graphics

Introduction to graphics

Samples of different graphics

Guidelines for using in documents

Methods for creating

another channel for learning
Another Channel for Learning

“The idea of illustration is to create another “channel” of information, one that repeats the text, reinforces it, and adds to it. Providing content in both visual and verbal forms gives people a better way to determine the meaning of the content than through text or pictures alone.” – Olav Martin Kvern

what are graphics
What Are Graphics?
  • Charts
  • Diagrams
  • Drawings (line art)
  • Photographs
  • Screen shots
  • Maps
why are graphics important
Why Are Graphics Important?
  • Help communicate information that is difficult to convey in words
  • Help clarify and emphasize information
  • Catch the reader’s attention
  • Help communicate information to multiple audiences
  • Help non-native speakers of English understand the information
graphics are more effective than text
Graphics Are More Effective Than Text
  • Demonstrate logical and numerical relationships
  • Convey spatial information
  • Give overall picture in a glance
  • Outline steps in a process
  • Save space
information graphics
Information Graphics
  • Charts
    • Pie charts: parts-to-whole relationships
    • Bar charts: makes comparisons
    • Stacked bar charts: parts that contribute to the total
    • Line charts: shows trends
information graphics12
Information Graphics
  • Diagrams
    • Organizational diagrams: shows dominant and subordinate relationships
    • Flow/process diagrams: shows sequences
    • Timelines: communicates historical perspective
    • Floor plans/cutaway product drawings: displays spatial relationships
sample organizational chart
Sample Organizational Chart

FCC Org Chart Source:

sample flow diagram closed
Sample Flow Diagram: Closed

Source: Markel, 348

sample flow diagram open
Sample Flow Diagram: Open


sample timeline
Sample Timeline


drawings line art
Drawings (Line Art)
  • Can focus the reader’s attention on targeted information
  • Can highlight information that might be obscured
  • Sometimes easier for readers to understand
sample diagram
Sample Diagram

Check connections to handles carefully

Source: Precor Icarian Safety Manual

  • Use for visual detail
  • Offer concrete visual proof to back up your text
  • Enhance credibility
  • Evoke a greater sense of urgency and drama
  • Can provide too much information
sample photograph
Sample Photograph


screens shots
Screens Shots
  • Reassures the user
  • Makes procedures easier to follow
  • Serves to simplify complex information
  • Makes documents more inviting
issues with using screen shots
Issues with Using Screen Shots
  • Users may follow screen shots only
  • May need frequent updating
  • Take up a lot of space on page
  • Take up a lot of memory on computer
  • Used to support poorly done material
  • Adds to maintenance costs
  • Can show too much detail
using screen shots
Using screen shots
  • Use a screen shot when it has purpose
  • Use appropriate shots for audience
  • Use figure caption to explain purpose
  • Use callouts to identify important items
  • Make sure screen shots are accurate
  • Make screen shots readable
creating screen shots
Creating screen shots
  • Use a program to capture screen
  • Use a feature on computer to capture screen
  • Save as BMP, EPS, or TIF
  • Save with descriptive filenames
  • Convey spatial information
  • Are generally scalable replicas
guidelines for effective use
Guidelines for Effective Use
  • Do not crowd the graphics
  • Vary size and shape for interest
  • Be consistent in style and design
  • Less is more
additional guidelines from a technical writer
Additional Guidelines from a Technical Writer
  • Design the graphics based on audience
  • Keep the graphics simple
  • Make sure graphics are accurate
  • Tell the reader that a graphic exists
  • Make sure reader understands what is important about a graphic
  • Be consistent with how you use graphics
additional guidelines continued
Additional Guidelines Continued
  • Use callouts to guide readers
  • Place graphics near their corresponding discussions
  • If appropriate to company standards, graphics should have a number and caption
  • Omit graphics that do not contribute
  • Try to keep flowcharts to one page
file formats
File Formats
  • Bitmap files – stores pictures as matrices (rows & columns) of squares known as pixels
  • Vector files – contains sets of instructions for drawing objects
what programs to use
What Programs to Use
  • Paint image editing programs – bitmap images
    • Photoshop
    • Paint
  • Drawing vector-based programs – object oriented image creation, uses postscript to define lines
    • Freehand
    • Illustrator
digital file formats
Digital File Formats
  • EPS: Encapsulated Postscript
  • TIF: Tagged Image File Format
  • GIF: Graphics Interchange Format
  • JPEG: Joint Photographics Expert Group
  • BMP: Windows bitmap
  • PICT: MAC bitmap