Show is better
than Tell.

Based on U.S. Department of Education research
In Pictures tutorials are based on the findings of a three-year research study conducted through a U.S. Department of Education grant. The goal of the study: to create materials that made it easier for people with learning disabilities to learn computer subjects.

Simple, illustration-based textbooks were created as part of the study, then tested in primary grades, high school, and college classrooms. Students of all kinds—not just those with learning disabilities—said they liked them better than conventional textbooks.

In Pictures online tutorials were created with this study in mind and employ the principles that were proven to work best, such as using large, abundant pictures and breaking tasks down into step-by-step instructions.

Where's the snazzy stuff?
Where are the color screenshots? The cartoon characters? The video animations? These tutorials don't employ them because research shows that:

  • Tutorials should be as simple as possible. Multimedia animations may look nifty, but they can be hard to follow.
  • Color screenshots can create a "kaleidoscope" effect that makes it difficult to focus. For most people, black-and-white works better.