- By Michele Marques, Lead Information Developer, ITSM
Yesterday, I saw some signage in a cell phone store that got my hopes up - only to lead to disappointment. I finished my cell phone contract a few months ago, so I've been looking at different cell phones. Of course, I research online. But I also like to try the phone out in the store. Sometimes all you can do is hold them to see how they feel in your hand.Other times you can navigate the phone's menus or OS.
Yesterday, when I was in the cell phone store, a sign above a bank of phones said to pick up a phone to try it - or at least, that's how I interpreted the sign. I picked up the phone and tried to use the touch screen then pressed buttons. But nothing happened. Until I looked at the LCD above the bank of phones and saw information being displayed about the phone. I picked up another phone, and the display changed to information about that phone. Talk about disappointment! I could see all this information on-line. The only difference in the store was that I could feel the heft of the phone. However, I couldn't actually play with it and see how it felt to use the phone.
Have you run into signs that aren't clear?
Signs aren't so different from titles and headings in technical communication. These are some of the signposts that we provide to help our readers locate information quickly. If the signpost isn't accurate, our reader might remain lost.
Did you find some piece of technical communication and from the title think "That's what I've been looking for!" I hope your encounter with the guide, topic, or page was more fulfilling than my cell phone store encounter. If you have any examples of misleading - or really apt - titles, please let me know!
The postings in this blog are my own and don't nessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.