RE: Best practices for online help book landing pages?

Subject: RE: Best practices for online help book landing pages?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Tom Johnson" <tomjohnson1492 -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 15:36:53 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
Tom Johnson wondered:
> Is there a best practice for what should appear when a user clicks a
> in
> an online help table of contents? (By book I'm referring to the TOC
> icon that expands to show multiple topics below it.) I've seen three
> variations:
> - A mini-TOC appears listing the topics under the book.
> - A summary topic appears describing the entire book (and the topic
> isn't
> listed as one of the topics in the book).
> - Nothing appears at all. You have to double-click the book to see
> topics under it, and then select the topic you want.
> I currently do the first -- add a miniTOC for the book's topic. But
> yesterday I used a help file, saw the same thing, and thought to
> why
> the repetition of the table of contents?

I haven't done the mini-ToC thing, because my Help is WebHelp with the
ToC expanded in the frame/pane immediately to the left of the topic
window, so my approaches are:
If there's a general/intro-ish page for that section, that's what I
point to.
If there's a logical first step page, that's what I point to.
If the section is just a collection of vaguely related pages, none of
which has any compelling reason to be first... then I pick one for that
honor, or I write a little one-paragraph intro page... if I'm not
feeling too lazy.

I'd be interested to see if others have some better approaches. Mine are
kinda haphazard in that respect.

- Kevin
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Best practices for online help book landing pages?: From: Tom Johnson

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