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Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors, Third Edition by Elizabeth Wilde, Shannon Rouiller, Eric Radzinski, Deirdre Longo, Moira McFadden Lanyi, Michelle Carey

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Chapter 11. Visual effectiveness

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Confusion and clutter are failures of design, not attributes of information.

—Edward R. Tufte

Visual effectiveness is a measure of how the appearance of information and the visual elements within it affect how easily users can use, understand, and find the information they need. Users must deal with a huge volume of information, and they must do so on increasingly smaller devices. Visual effectiveness plays a key role in helping users quickly navigate and process all of this information.

Technical communicators generally focus on words, so obvious visual elements such as illustrations and layout of user interfaces ...

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