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Author: Piet Westendorp

One of the most important design decisions a user manual designer has to make is the choice of the concept: the decision of how to combine the verbal and pictorial elements and what they should basically look like. It is argued in this article that it is impossible to see the elements of the concept as separate units because changing one element necessarily leads to changing the others. Therefore, concepts should be tested integrated. The taxonomy of Bieger and Glock is introduced as a possible tool for analysing the information content of user manual concepts.

In: Quality of technical documentation
In: Interface Design & Document Design
Volume Editors: Piet Westendorp, Carel Jansen, and Rob Punselie
User interfaces and supporting documentation are both supposed to help people when using a complex device. But often, these forms of support seem to come from different worlds. User interface designers, document designers, and researchers in both interface and document design share many goals, but are also separated by many barriers.
In this book, user interface designers and documents designers from Microsoft Corporation and from Apple Computer, plus researchers from several universities try to bridge the gap between interface design and document design. They discuss opportunities for closer cooperation, and for more integrated and effective help for users of modern technology.