RE: Review process for online help

Subject: RE: Review process for online help
From: "Kathy Bowman" <Kathy -dot- Bowman -at- au -dot- saabgroup -dot- com>
To: "Donna Marino" <domarino -at- earthlink -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 09:18:14 +0930

Donna wrote:
"I've developed a large online help system and it needs to be reviewed
by the SMEs at my company. This is the first time the help is going
through a review and it's going to take a bit of work to get everyone
on the same page about the review process and its value.

What have you found to be the best and most efficient way to elicit
feedback from subject matter experts? Do you distribute materials to be
reviewed as a printed document, a PDF, or some other format? (I ask
this because one developer likes to have a paper copy so he can actually
write notes on it.) Any suggestions about useful review processes would
be greatly appreciated."

Hi Donna

We email a company developed review form to reviewers which provides the
name of the file (chm), the date required and details about what is to
be reviewed and by whom. The help projects are available in our content
management system but I usually attach a copy of the chm (zipped) to the
email to make it easier for the reviewers. I also advise them to copy
the chm to their local drive.

The reviewers write comments on the review form. The reviewers can also
print topics and mark them up. The system has been in place for years
and works well.

We also use the review forms to record a summary of test results when
the context sensitive links are all tested within the product; ie we
list any calls that fail or show unexpected behaviour, and record the
number of any System Performance Reports (SPR) raised for the issue.

The review forms are used throughout the company and are part of the
evidence that a product has been technically reviewed, and can be made
available to the customer, so people take the process seriously.

We have other review systems available, eg in ClearQuest, but we don't
use it for Help file reviews.



Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

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Review process for online help: From: Donna Marino

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