In the past several times I've been asked not to use screen shots and some of the lame excuses given were:
- maintenance is high
- what if there is no time to update screen changes in documentation?
- screen change is done with short notice, what if the writer dint learn about the changes or what if an update is missed out?
Well, I don't say or recommend capturing each and every screen for technical documentation. But for screens where user action is the deciding factor and the outcome is irreversible, I'd say visual presentation would be easier to understand.
When it comes to Technical Writing, target audience is the king and must assist him in every possible way to ease off his job in using or learning a product! Now, as I don't have to abide by any dogmatic rules, I've set out on a fact finding spree from professionals in the writing industry as well as "real" end users of various applications! Yes, I've started interviewing and plan to continue until the end of this month. Just within 24 hours, I've started getting amazing responses and I plan to use the findings in my upcoming project for a reputed international client, who appreciates my contribution!
Probably I would share the findings with groups that can make a difference in the arena of technical communication.