RE: Ideas for Help 2.0

Subject: RE: Ideas for Help 2.0
From: "Ed Marsh" <lists -at- edmarsh -dot- com>
To: "'Roger Goodman'" <reg4roger -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 07:29:46 -0500

Hi Roger-

Let me be the contrarian and say congratulations. Online help can certainly
use a change. Tri-paned framesets are so 1999.

I'm facing a somewhat similar task in that TPTB are looking for something
less traditional. However, I am stuck in a RoboHelp environment delivering
WebHelp across an intranet. I've taken a two-step approach: first, redesign
the help using CSS, reduce the number of styles, and standardize across all
help projects. In the second round, I've created an attractive skin, hidden
the table of contents pane by default (though one click away), and
implemented a jQuery drop-down menu and rollovers to highlight content. I'm
basing the redesign on the 960gs (www.960.gs) grid system that is widely
used.

Where have I taken all of my cues from? The Web. There's no reason why the
content we create can't look like the rest of the Web that people expect.

But before you go and add jQuery and CSS3, remember the first rule of the
Web: content is king. Your users want attractive help, but they also want
effective help. The content at my company (a major financial firm) has been
developed by excellent writers over the years, so there is no reason to hide
it.

If your developers are as kickass as your manager wants your help to be,
they can incorporate your topics easily into the rest of the site. They
could probably even roll your own CMS, if need be.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
-=Ed.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lists=edmarsh -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lists=edmarsh -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
Roger Goodman
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 1:16 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Ideas for Help 2.0

Hi,

We are developing an enterprise social platform for our company, which will
have features such as microblog, blog, wiki, Q&A, video, groups, etc.

My boss wants a kickass help - not the boring user guides or HTML help or
Web help.

Seeking your inputs to create evolved help, which I would like to call as
Help 2.0.

Would appreciate if you could share your thoughts. Thank you for your time.


Cheers
Roger

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Ideas for Help 2.0: From: Roger Goodman

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