Users today want more visual content. They like viewing flash animations, video tutorials, and audio clips along with the informative text that communicators write. A picture is not worth a thousand words anymore, it is worth a million hits!
We added some visual treatment to our Help topics and the results were a delight! Not only did the user experience improve, adding images and videos increased user participation and brought down negative ratings in some cases.
Here are some visual strategies that are likely to strike gold:
- Artwork that saves localization costs: Photoshop Elements has a lot of these examples, whether it is creating an Out of bounds effect or removing red eyefrom images. These articles have been instrumental in saving localization costs. We took care to include the image area with accuracy and not include toolbars, panels, or any localization candidates.
- Visual overviews for easier navigation: In image editing/publishing tools like Photoshop Elements or Illustrator, users often struggle with the tool panels. The tooltip is usually not enough for new users to get started. We carefully studied the user feedback and figured out that our users were looking for a Preview! The Selection tools page in PSE and the Drawing tools gallery page in AI have wowed users worldwide. Many users have them as their favorite bookmarks. An illustration of the tool, a short description, and a linked topic that has more information about the tool. That’s easily one of the best examples of navigation-friendly online documentation.
- Playing at a theater near you: To tell a story through a video is entertaining yet informative. InDesign has been premiering some really good videos to amaze graphics aficionados. Adding page numbers and exporting content to EPUB are some effectively executed examples.
- Traditional with a twist: Whether it is quizzing users or helping users create question slides, Adobe Captivate has used tabular definitions and simple callout diagrams to educate and engage users.
As illustrated in the examples above, visual illustrations with text are the flavor of the times gone by and the times to come.
And we can’t help asking our users “Would you like some fries with your text?” 🙂