We were chuffed to have been chosen to host a talk on The Power of Product Screenshots in your Help Documentation at the Write the Docs Atlantic conference on September 12. It was a great couple of days learning all things software documentation with the passionate and engaging community that is Write the Docs. Thank you to everyone who took the time to listen to our talk and for all the thoughtful questions throughout.
Q: Do you have recommendations for selecting the appropriate image format based on different situations or use cases in developer-focused documentation? - Nikhila Jain
If with image format you mean the literal choice of file format for the digital image in use, such as
SVG, etc. The choice matrix might look like this:
- Lossy Compression (smaller file size)
- Lossless Compress (larger file size)
I personally swear to any format which produces a lossless compression, especially with screenshots, as we can often assume they include small UI components with intricate lines and icons, and most importantly include written text. Not only can we compress dramatically, without any loss, but even when that is not possible, I am eager for my audience to be able to read any text without any strains.
In other words. My recommendation is PNG!
Ping me and I’d love to provide additional commentary on how to make a few simple adjustments to make sure your PNGs are not bloated (we obviously take all those precautions when generating screenshots at LaunchBrightly).
[A] Pronounced with a hard “G” ;-)
You can see a summary of the talk and find a link to the recording here.
And you can also find a link to the other great questions from the chat below:
- Recommendations for writing good Alt Text for your screenshots
- Does the title attribute on images help with SEO?
- When are product screenshots most helpful?
- When to add images in developer-focused documentation?
- Will AI image recognition help with screenshot automation in the future?
- What is the right ratio of images to text?
- Are GIFs better than screenshots with callouts?
- How to automate screenshots that illustrate product capabilities?