Re: Context Sensitive Help

Subject: Re: Context Sensitive Help
From: "Dana Worley" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 15:33:09 -0600

On Tuesday, June 06, 2006, cupton -at- syclone -dot- net wrote:

> What do you think? Have you encountered this problem before, and how
> did you approach the Sales people? The customer?

It depends upon the application. I find context sensitive help is
useful and adds value if the application has a lot of controls (e.g.,
text or numeric entry fields) and those controls have a finite list of
valid entries or the field names are not that descriptive. For
example, some sort of form that the user completes or a
programming editor where you provide help on each parameter in
an instruction. However, if your help is mostly conceptual, then
context sensitivity may not provide value equal to what it will cost to

If the customer is asking for it, however, I would give it serious
consideration. There's obviously a reason why the customer is
asking -- maybe you can determine the reason and then consider if
context sensitive help is the best solution, or if another route should
be taken.


Dana W.

Dana Worley
Manager, Software Support Group
Campbell Scientific, Inc.
Microsoft MVP, Windows Help 2003-2006


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Context Sensitive Help: From: cupton

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