Re: Ideas for Help 2.0

Subject: Re: Ideas for Help 2.0
From: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
To: Roger Goodman <reg4roger -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 10:23:37 -0800

On Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM, Roger Goodman <reg4roger -at- gmail -dot- com>
wrote:> My boss wants a kickass help - not the boring user guides or
HTML help or
> Web help.
As others have already said: "What does your boss mean by 'kickass'?"
Does this refer to the language style and tone or the technology?

As far as technology goes, embedded assistance is key.

For instance, when users fill out forms, an icon that triggers a help
tool tip when clicked or hovered is useful. More, a "show me" link
inside the tooltip that shadowboxes a video is cooler. Better, when
users fill out form values, the server automatically validates their
entry. This saves them from having to wait until they fill in all 30
fields before they find out they did something wrong.

Another instance, in web page documentation sets, it's always cool to
be able to collapse menus and lists. Or drag and drop. Yeah. Drag and
drop.

Ideally, a good application should NOT NEED HELP. We need to think
like the user, who is not us, and anticipate questions to answer in an
interactive manner. That is how I would define "kickass help".


Regarding language, someone told me that their company instated a
policy where they could not write "DO NOT" on their signs. Even if
they were writing about rules, they were to use the positive
statement.

So, instead of "DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNATTENDED", someone suggested:
"ONLY MORONS ABANDON THEIR CHILDREN".

This met the style rule, but maybe not the tone rule. If "kickass"
refers to style and tone, then your boss should supply examples of the
style and tone that should be followed for the language.

So there you go my thoughts.

-Tony
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Ideas for Help 2.0: From: Roger Goodman

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