RE: QUERY: question mark icon on toolbar button

Subject: RE: QUERY: question mark icon on toolbar button
From: Chuck Martin <CMartin -at- serena -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:57:51 -0800

You're not mistaken. Currently, there are several different question
mark-type buttons that are standard for Windows applications and designed
for specific uses. Using any of those buttons (or a newly designed one, for
that matter) for an About box is non-standard (I'd file a bug).

There are 3 main types for button bars:

- Contents & Index
- Context sensitive
- What's This?

I rarely see a Contents & Index button, that command more often is left in
the Help menu. Context sensitive should go to an overall topic on the
window. What's This? changes the mouse cursor so you can click on a specific
interface item and get a pop-up window describing its function.

See chapter 13, User Assistance, in the book "Microsoft Windows User
Experience" for more information.

Chuck Martin
Sr. Technical Writer, SERENA Software

"People who use business software might despise it, but they are getting
paid to tolerate it....Most people who are paid to use a tool feel
constrained not to complain about that tool, but it doesn't stop them from
feeling frustrated and unhappy about it."
- "The Inmates are Running the Asylum"
Alan Cooper

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Becca Price [mailto:becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2000 11:13 AM
> Subject: QUERY: question mark icon on toolbar button
> In the Windows-based application I'm documenting,
> there is a button on the toolbar with a question mark
> as the icon. When you click the button, you get the
> "About this program" information screen. I can't find
> anything specific in my reference books, but I thought
> that the question mark button was usually used as a
> shortcut to the online help -- or am I (as in so many
> other things!) mistaken?
> Thanks,
> Becca
> wondering whether to enter a bug report or not.

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