Re: Question for WinHlp Developers

Subject: Re: Question for WinHlp Developers
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 16:00:37 -0500

Much depends on the product, and on the intended user. I think that newbies
are often scared by the "see also" in topics; I prefer to use index keywords
to do the same thing. It hides the "see alsos", but at the price of making
the newbie pick from a list of similar-sounding things.

I also like "see alsos" for files that have separate "more about"
explanations and instruction sets. "see alsos" tie these together. For each
explanation topic, there may be several tasks that can be performed.

Finally, I like "see alsos" when topics have tasks that are closely related,
but somewhat different. It's easy for users to wander into these alleys. For
example, a task "Printing a report" might be confused for "Printing a data
set". I'd put "see alsos" of some type to cross-reference them.

Be warned, though, that doing extensive cross-references can be confusing to
the writer and can result in lots of dead-end links if topics have to be
summarily chopped because of product updates. You may not remember where
every cross-x went. That's why I like ForeHelp's navigation and reporting

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
Check our Web site for the upcoming Clustar class info

----- Original Message -----
From: Duerfeldt, Mark <MarkDuerfeldt -at- interim -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 10:19 AM
Subject: Question for WinHlp Developers

> I'm in the process of developing several online help systems and I was
> wondering about the use of "See Also" and "More" at the end of each topic.
> Does anyone ever used both at the end of one topic? As in, "More"
> to more topics directly related to the current topice, vs. "See Also"
> referring to topics that have relevence to the current topic but not
> necessarily directly related.
> Or is this just stupid and confusing to a user? Maybe just stick to one o
> the other?
> Just curious as to how others look at this.

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