Re: Ideas for Help 2.0

Subject: Re: Ideas for Help 2.0
From: jimmy -at- breck-mckye -dot- com
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 16:46:33 +0000

In the next ten years, I expect improved reporting on how people use
help will have far more effect on how we produce that help than any
changes on the back end or improvements to authoring or presentation
tools.

On a related note, I think anyone rolling out web help needs to look into using web analytics - even free, off-the-shelf solutions like Google Analytics. Hard data about what people are reading - and more importantly, what people are reading and leaving without needing to re-search for more help - is the sort of evidence no stakeholder can argue with.

What I liked about the idea was that the system grew in response to users' questions. Instead of shipping out a fixed help system that is simply updated periodically, we would provide something that would grow as people used it.

Obviously, you would need to keep control of the content and organization. But your customers' actual needs would define the scope and guarantee that it was helping them. Wow.

While I appreciate the cautionary replies you've received, there *are* real innovations out there that you can investigate. I do thoroughly agree with this idea: The most important source of ideas is your end user.

Ah, but the devil's in the implementation. How do you get users to effectively communicate their needs? How do you make sure that users with unusual requests or requests they otherwise can't articulate easily still get served? And what happens when users aren't aware of the full gamut of deliverables? There's the rub...

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Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Ideas for Help 2.0: From: Nancy Allison

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