Content of Help Systems

Subject: Content of Help Systems
From: M Parcell <mbtechwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 13:47:49 -0700 (PDT)

Hi there. I was hoping to get some feedback from you
guys to help us make a decision at my company because
we're debating what the content of a help system
should be. We deliver both user guides (online only)
and help systems. Some people maintain that these two
mediums should have different kinds of information
(e.g., the user guides should contain background and
conceptual information as well as task-based
information while help systems should contain
primarily task-based information but little conceptual
information). Others maintain that the help system
should contain both background/conceptual information
*and* task-based information. Our question is: Should
help system content duplicate documentation content?
Or, do these items serve distinctly different purposes
that merit different content?

Any feedback is appreciated to help us make the right
choice. Thank you!

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005


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