Dynamic WebHelp?

Subject: Dynamic WebHelp?
From: Shari Gray <sharigray -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 15:16:17 -0800 (PST)

OK, you'll have to excuse my rambling as I'm trying to
work this out. I thought I would ask you guys to help
me brainstorm. Sorry for the length. I have
cross-posted this in a couple places so sorry if this
is a duplicate for you.

We have a Web-based product. The help was done using
RoboHelp's WebHelp. It's page-level help with TOC,
index, and search. The audience is average Internet


We want to do some statistical testing with different
pages. They are planning on doing with a redirect. I
don't know the specifics but depending on certain
criteria, show a different set of screens. Some of it
will be the same with only look and feel type items
changed. Other sets will be totally different. Most of
the sets will end up coming back together at some
point to a common screen.

I'm trying to figure out what to do about the help.
It's not an issue of doing different versions of the
help for the different screen sets, it's more of an
issue of keeping everything for a set together when
some of them might have common pages. It's not an
option to have different sets be complete sets. The
common pages will remain common. They don't want to
have to maintain different pages that are really the
same. So it would be possible that a user could get to
help topics that aren't relevant through the TOC,
index, search.

Here' the ideas I've come up with so far (in no
particular order):

1. Do generic help screens that do not give any
field-level descriptions.
2. Take out the TOC, index, and search.
3. There is some configuration file that sits on the
Web server that gets some common information. This is
the way they are planning on controlling the look and
feel for the pages. Maybe something can be done with
4. Another different product of ours allows partners
to customize the look and feel and add some custom
text. The pages were divided into sections or zones
and the information for those zones are pulled from
the database. The help is handled as a all or nothing
thing. Partners either use all of our help or gives us
URLs to link to their own help. The reason for the all
or nothing approach is due to the TOC, index, search.
Again, maybe something similar can be done for this
product. Again, I have the same TOC, index, search

So that's what I've come up with so far. If you have
read this far (and if you have, thank you), I would
love to hear suggestions, comments, or ideas.


Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.

Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY.
http://www.weisner.com/training/dreamweaver_help.htm or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by SOLUTIONS, Conferences and Seminars for Communicators
Publications Management Clinic, TECH*COMM 2001 Conference, and more
http://www.SolutionsEvents.com or 800-448-4230

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: How Short is so short that No TOC is Needed?
Next by Author: Re: System Documentation Metric
Previous by Thread: Tricky question: Canada-based?
Next by Thread: Core Skills for Technical Communicators

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads