Include media with Descriptions to make things clearer

This article is based on information from the article Figures – Do you add useful text captions to images and videos? Published by SSW Enterprise Software Development a company I used to work for.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Including an annotated image, screenshot, or video in an email can clarify any communication. If you include description text at the bottom of the media to back it up, that will make things even more clear for the reader to understand.

 

Guidelines:

  • Include a description with a prefix of the media type under every image, video, or screenshot.
  • Use short and concise descriptions of the media.

 

Prefix index

User the following tag under the media you are attaching

  • Image – [Discription]
  • Video – [Discription]
  • Email – [Discription]
  • GIF – [Discription]

 

Let’s look at a good example and how we can apply this standard to make a message more clear.

In this example, stakeholders like Option B from a set of website designs that was presented to them. They still require some changes, so they send him a list of changes, but this time, they also include an image of the option they like. Note that they have also included a tag under the image to verify what the image is about.

✅ Good Examples

Hi Matt,

As per our Team’s conversation with Mary and Luke, I am very happy with what you’ve done.

❤️ Our favourite – Option b.

We need a few minor changes to make these designs awesome:

  1. Can you make the title colour dark purple?
  2. Can you include a map of Melbourne City somewhere?
  3. Can you set up a link to the Contact Us page with the CTA text “Talk to us now” right at the bottom of the text?


Image: Option b – ❤️our favourite design

 

Thanks,

Joe

Adding an image to this message clarifies to the reader that this is their preferred option.

Without the image, the email’s author could have quoted the wrong choice, which could cause some confusion.

In our next standard on reviewing your communication, we will examine how to catch potential errors.