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Helping Readers Connect Text and Visuals in Sequential Procedural Instruction: Developing Reader Comprehension

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When presented with sequential procedures for a complex system containing text and graphics, readers often lose the structural and functional connectivity among graphics. This failure hinders the process of mental animation needed for users to understand the logical order of the procedure’s steps if there are no interim frames shown graphically. However, the reader’s understanding of spatial relationships can be facilitated if certain conventions are followed. Some of the major recommendations identified for graphics and text are identifying objects in an assembled structure, conforming to a compromised object-centered or body-centered viewpoint based on need, and stating a clear goal plan early in the text presentation. Following these conventions helps the reader transition between subassemblies logically, which our research identified as a major problem area for many readers.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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