Re: Which is /w/o/r/s/e/ ... better?

Subject: Re: Which is /w/o/r/s/e/ ... better?
From: "Edgar D' Souza" <edgar -dot- b -dot- dsouza -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 08:33:20 +0530

On 4/22/06, John Garison <john -at- garisons -dot- com> wrote:
> I prefer the long list on one page. I can print it all out and then
> follow it rather than having to print out multiple pages.

I wouldn't print (I prefer Alt-Tabbing between app and help file) but my
vote is definitely for a single long page. Clicking my way around in a
confused circle of links ups my blood pressure and lowers productivity. I
prefer to find the majority of information on a particular topic which I
need help on, in a single page.

Add to this the fact that at times, I'm searching help to find out how to
accomplish a particular task which I've never attempted before with the app
I'm working on (let's say Word). So I search the help file for certain
keywords which I think MS might have used to describe the task I want to do.
That gives me quite a few results. When the information I'm looking for is
split up into the kind of page-cluster you mention, it takes much longer to
assimilate - first, I have to realize there's no single page telling me the
answer to my question. Then I have to see if I can piece together enough
clues and hints from these interlinked page fragments to make an answer that
is complete enough for me.

In comparison, if I have a few large pages returned as the result of my
search, I can go to each one in turn and search within the page for my
target keyword. When I find it, a quick skim of the sentence/paragraph it's
placed in tells me whether this topic is likely to help me or not. If yes, I
can then skim the whole page and get all the info I need in one place. If
not, move on to the next hit.

So, while I'm probably never going to even /see/ the software you're doing
the help file for, this is how I would love to have help work for me.
Obviously, others' MMV.


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Which is /w/o/r/s/e/ ... better?: From: mlist
Re: Which is /w/o/r/s/e/ ... better?: From: John Garison

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