Knowledge: Create Effective Images

Images can make it easier to follow instructions in a KB article. The most effective images do one of the following:

  • Show what something looks like
  • Help the user locate something
  • Provide confirmation of settings

Before inserting an image in an article

Before inserting any images to your KB articles, make sure the document makes sense without screenshots. The text should stand on its own, should be concise, clear and easy to scan.

  • Not every step requires an image. Consider the complexity of the interface and associated instructions when determining whether or not to use one. 

Creating images

Once you have determined the need for an image, Take a Screenshot. Then edit the image as needed.

You may need to Crop and Resize Images for Use in an Article.

You may also need to highlight areas in an image to focus the user's attention.

Focusing your images

Crop your screenshots so only the most pertinent information is included; this will allow the user to efficiently scan the image and find what they are looking for. Cropping screenshots also helps keep the KB article clean and clutter-free.

Use arrows, boxes, or other types of call-outs to highlight important aspects of the image. Our standard is to use the color red.

Examples

  • This dialog box was cropped to focus on the relevant information. The ragged edges help the user know the view has been cropped.
    Note: Creating a ragged edge requires special image editing software. For this reason, ragged edges are used only for Public articles when it's absolutely necessary to direct the user's attention.
    Before and after of a dialog window that has been cropped and resized.
     
  • This menu was cropped to remove the clutter on both sides of the image and resized. Then the specified command was highlighted using a rectangle tool to make it easier for the user to find it. 

    Example of a dialog window that was cropped and resized. The final result is uncluttered.

     
  • This dialog box is very large and only a small part of it is relevant. If it's important for the viewer to see the full context of the window, reducing the size of the image and providing a pop-out of the relevant part may be more useful. In this case, both an arrow and a rectangle draw the user's attention to the important part of the image.

    Before
    Example of the large dialog window that provides context but only has one small part that is relevant.

    After
    Example of a large image that provides context that has been resized with a pop-out highlights the relevant portion.

Additional resources