Re: Data on who uses Help?
Help that is targeted at a beginner usually consists of step-by-stepThere is a printed user's guide that "beginners" can purchase. But "beginner" here could refer to a beginner with the software, not necessarily a beginning computer user.
instructions on "how to do this", and might arguably be better presented in
a booklet than a help file. (I'm sure we can all have a good argument about
I wonder if calling Help something other than "Help" would appeal to advanced users more. Maybe call it "reference" or something, if "Help" is typically associated with content that you, as an advanced user, aren't interested in.
For advanced users, (and I am an advanced user of some software) the purpose
of Help becomes rather different. Instead of being a linear "instruction
guide" it becomes for me more like an encyclopaedia, where I look up a topic
that I want to deal with at the moment, and then put it away again. I want
the access to be as instant as possible, I want the information to be
correct and up-to-date, and I *only* want the information that is directly
relevant to what I need to know right now. A book or web lookup doesn't
achieve those things in the way I want and need.
Thanks for your comments.
Where Help is effectively organised this way, I use it all the time, if only
to refresh my memory on the exact details of a topic I already know.
The context-sensitive help that is available for Word VBA is an example of
what mean, where you can position the cursor on a keyword, press F1, and
the help topic for that keyword appears, with links to related items.
Manager, Information Design Group
rudman -at- netscape -dot- com
PC Magazine gives RoboHelp Office 2002 five stars - a perfect score!
"The ultimate developer's tool for designing help systems. A product
no professional help designer should be without." Check out RoboHelp at
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.
RE: Data on who uses Help?: From: Jonathan West
Search our Technical Writing Archives & Magazine