Do shots hurt when it comes to healthcare IT collateral?

By Jenny Orr on May 5th, 2009

Screenshots that is. Just when you've presented a beautiful layout and everyone wants to roll with it, someone says, “Oh yeah, there's one more thing, can we scatter a bunch of screenshots of our software throughout the copy?” And the beauty is lost.There are obviously a few issues with screenshots. The first is that in order for anyone to really be able to see the detail, it needs to be big. The second is that the shots need to be small so that the resolution for printing is kind-of/sort-of ok. Yes, you can take a picture of it really big and shrink it down to increase the resolution, but it’s still not ideal. To trace or recreate a really detailed screenshot could take a very long time and most people wouldn't want to pay for it. This site has some good tips for creating the best possible screenshot to begin with.

In saying all of that, I do realize that sometimes there is a need to show off the product by using screenshots. What I usually recommend is:

  • Try to show fewer shots, maybe even one to get the point across. Try to keep it small enough where it's not too harsh on the eye and have a really good caption
  • If it’s important to show more than one, you could possibly put all of the shots on one page so that the remaining pages of the brochure can still flow smoothly without all of the distractions
  • Retouching the screenshots onto a nice high-res laptop or monitor image helps tremendously
  • If a portion of the screenshot is more pleasing to the eye and still gets the point across, zoom in on that section
  • Have a designer redraw it or a portion of it
  • Turn the brochure into a pocket folder and use separate inserts for this sort of stuff

So, see, shots don’t have to be painful. Have a stab at it.