Re: Task-based vs. descriptive online help

Subject: Re: Task-based vs. descriptive online help
From: Kandis Weiner <kandis -at- toonboom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 12:52:46 -0500

> I'd like to hear what other writers think: would the guided-tour stuff be
> helpful to users? If so, is it helpful in a "when in doubt, leave it in;
> somewhere out there there's somebody who will want it" way, or can anyone
> point me to some research that indicates this kind of documentation really
> is valuable to users?

In the online help (also WebHelp) we have just developed, we do both. A
reference section follows all of the high-level (task) topic folders in
the TOC.

I think this works well (can't cite any research) because you can refer
to object within the context of a task and then link to a definition of
the object. And definitions of objects can link back to related tasks.
Best of both worlds, as I see it.

Mind you, this is the first online help system we have built like this
for our users, so we won't really know how much our users like/dislike
this arrangement for awhile. We're going to put in mail links for each
topic and see if we drum up any feedback from our users on this and
other design strategies.

I would definitely steer clear from including big graphics because of
uncomfortable window sizes as well as file size of the final output

Kandis Weiner
kandis -at- toonboom -dot- com


Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
**New Dates!!** San Francisco (Apr 16-17), San Jose (Mar 29-30) or 800-646-9989.

IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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 for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: nitpicky word question
Next by Author: RE: Managing the Multitudes
Previous by Thread: Re: Task-based vs. descriptive online help
Next by Thread: RE: Task-based vs. descriptive online help

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

Sponsored Ads