Communication is one of most important activities nowadays. That is why the social networks are so popular. It comes from the people origin.
When we communicate, we use both verbal and visual communication. Verbal communication is what can be read or heard. Visual communication is what can be seen.
I think for sure when most of people are going to speak about some important things like business, they try to meet together in some restaurants, meeting rooms or at least using online video conferences.
It’s very important not only to hear/see what is your colleague saying, it’s very important to see his emotions and to understand his mood.
In such a simple way we can gather much more information from the conversation, I’d say it’s a great step from black-and-white picture to full colored.Signs, symbols, images – all of these makes conversation not only more colored, but also makes it shorter, because you are able to express your thoughts with better analogies. That is why most of presentations from all of the presenters (including such giants as Jobs, Ballmer and etc.) include the visual interpreting of their words.
As in phrase:
A picture is worth a thousand words.
In the world of technical communication usually only one entity is circulating between the endpoints (customers/developers/support/etc) – it’s a piece of useful information. Channels are the e-mails, documentation, phone calls etc.
The most general situation is when customer needs the support to explain her some interesting/difficult point in some abstract services or software. For example, when I request some information from my hosting company about some hosting server settings, they usually answer in e-mail with detailed explanations in text, where I should go and what should I click using my hosting panel web interface.
That’s great, but if those explanations would be made with attached screenshots of hosting panel UI, the time of UI elements search could be decreased to minimum. Time is money. If I’m not spending that for some routine, I success!
So the outcome I wanted to point here is that including images/ screenshots into most of end-user guides/ manuals is as essential as providing the guide itself!
P.S. I suggest try my software: StepShot – simple to use application for creating quick guides and manuals.