Re: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?

Subject: Re: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?
From: cjcbrown -at- comcast -dot- net
To: Kevin McLauchlan <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 23:32:59 +0000 (UTC)

>> Are your end-users actually accessible to you in some way?

I get to go with the trainer on-site when a customer is big enough to buy classroom training. Now that is fun and I literally do write down what they ask. I get to "job shadow" when they order that too. And I too ride along with new employees and watch how they learn.

>>> Or do you do what I do, constructing a composite
"user" (or three) from field trouble reports, Sales-Engineer
discussions, Apps-Eng/Engineering-Services comments
and discussion threads?

Yes, I do that too.

>> the engineering testers ...Âaren't much help in getting a feel for what a naive
user requires.

Same with us. Also our development context is WAY different from the customer's context in using the product.

Sometimes I can get naive-user equivalents

by having a fellow employee at another site, remotely look at the software.

I would like to remotely comment on software with our customers, but they are so big and formal

that there has to be a Statement of Work and NDAs to have the smallest simplest contact outside of training ... so, too bad for me.

> From that, we derive the "top user tasks" that people have questions about, that are not obvious in the software.

>> we are constantly learning new "top userÂtasks" as our products enter new and varied markets.

Us too, and some new tasks Âchange earlier tasks, forcing rewrites.

>> But of course, you also have ToC, glossary, Index, and Search

yup, sorry didn't spell those out

>> I wonder if all classes of user-customers would agree on what is "obvious".

Ours do not agree on what's obvious. But if anyone in any audienceÂhas asked, we put it in. If no one has asked, we have to be persuaded...

>> But we also sell to developers

Us too, and the developers are so different an audience that they get different deliverables.ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ

>> Is anybody doing that now? ÂProducing "generic"
help for your product, but assisting your big
customers to adapt/integrate that help into the
larger Help that they provide for their product
(of which your product then becomes a component...) ??

Not really, but a couple of our products talk about how to insert customer's own stuff into the help at certain places.Â

One customer rewrites individual HTML topics. And another customer adds links to his own docs in the same list as docs we produce.


Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial:

- Use this space to communicate with TECHWR-L readers -
- Contact admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com for more information -

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

RE: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

Previous by Author: Re: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?
Next by Author: Re: Two questions about Copyright notices
Previous by Thread: RE: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?
Next by Thread: Re: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads