Best practices for screenshots

Mar 29, 2018

Hi, folks. I hope you're well!

My company recently went through a website redesign, and I'm finding the pages look horrible. There's a left pane and text down the middle and then another pane on the right for the section I'm trying to work with. Even with removing a sidebar menu, to get the whole page on (left to right), the words are barely legible. Here's a link to a page showing one screenshot and then using Zoom: 

Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this? I'd appreciate any suggestions you have. Thanks so much!

6 Replies
Dave Ferguson

Is the screen responsive at all? For example, if I'm visiting the actual page and narrow the width of my browser, does the text in the main section re-wrap in its own smaller width? That's a small step toward shorter line lengths (as in the center bottom of your example).

That can only take you so far. I think your arrow-and-zoom is probably a good way to draw attention to a particular section, if that's the goal.

If you're dealing with a process or a series of concepts, does it make sense to combine the zooms with (for instance) some preliminary highlights?  "Our service profiles include a description (highlight part A), a demo (part B), competitive strengths (part C), and tech details (part D). Let's look at those in order... (zoom to A)."

Cheryl Hoover

Dave, thank you for your good ideas. I think my problem arises from me reducing the font size so I can get all the text in one screenshot. That used to work until these revisions. 

This afternoon I increased the font size and used the All in One option in Snag It to capture the full (longer) page. Then I used a motion path to move the page up. The page is scrolling at the appropriate time during the narration, so users can scan the form and end with the bottom of the form. I'll see what my SMEs say when I send them the first draft. I don't know if this will always work but it seems adequate at the moment. Thanks again.

ps - it is responsive, yes. And I'm sure part of my problem is I don't have the skill level to know what size I should be capturing it at for my usual 4:3 setup. The font size improves when I make the window smaller, but that will force a lot of scrolling to show them top to bottom what the form looks like. I suppose I could set up a Camtasia screencast.

Dave Ferguson

Cheryl, another thought: depending as always on the situation, could you turn your screen capture into a "click here to see the whole page" that would come up as a full-sized image? You've got your motion path and synchronization already; I'm just thinking of an optional "if you'd like to see (the page we're talking about), click here."

(As opposed to sending them out to the real site, which might not match whatever you want to talk about...)

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