Best practices for creating graphics for your documentation

Documentation without graphics is hard to understand, lacks appeal, and increases cognitive load. Here are a few basic principles for creating visuals that convey a clear message.

Text by Ivanka Radkova


Image: © Tetiana Garkusha/

As technical writers, we need to ensure that all pieces of information and visuals in our documentation apply design principles to improve readability and enhance search engine optimization (SEO), and are accessible to people with visual impairments. By adopting some of the best practices below, you will enhance the appearance of your technical documentation and communicate a clear message to readers.

Why are graphics important?

Creating and implementing visual elements in your documentation is no longer just a matter of decoration – it is a necessity. Studies show that people remember only 10% of what they hear and only about 20% of what they read. Graphics make for a stark difference: People recall 80% of what they see.

Basic elements of a graphic

Graphics consist of font or typography, colors, shapes, and lines. All these elements can dramatically impact the overall look of your ...