Screen Captures May Not Make Sense
Paul Masalsky argues that screen captures in documentation introduce more trouble than they're worth. Localization is the main difficulty. Another is size and the fact that many times the screenshots duplicate what the user already sees in the interface. This post raises a lot of issues that are worth exploring. While I agree that screenshots are problematic, I also think that without them, your documentation's usability goes down. When I watch users perform the steps of my documentation, they look very carefully at the screenshots I include.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation if you're looking for more info about that. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.