RE: Online help for GUI/web-based config app of HW telecom products

Subject: RE: Online help for GUI/web-based config app of HW telecom products
From: Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 04:14:25 +0000

Thanks Daniel, Jack , Peter and all. My question does not refer to telecom equipment that can be found in your home, rather business equipment bought by large service providers, deployed in their networks. Our target audience is techs who install and configure such equipment, usually via CLI, but sometimes via GUI. Now here is the disagreement. I think all GUIs should have Help. Management wants to keep the info in detached PDF manuals.

And this is where I need your help. I need to show them examples of GUI-based config apps with a Help button to prove other vendors do this. And I donât mean just Help>Aboutâ

Hopefully there are tech writers on this list who work or worked at telecom vendors or used such an app at some point.

Thanks, guys.

Erika

From: Daniel Friedman [mailto:daniel -dot- friedman42 -at- gmail -dot- com]

My Buffalo router at home (with pre-installed DD-WRT firmware) has help text built in. It can be helpful in explaining some of the parameters for advanced features. Main issue with online help for networking equipment is that it has to be bundled with the firmware (since the #1 question is going to be: why isn't my Internet working?).

Another thought might be that in telecom companies like ISPs there would be internal resistance to providing help for end users because of a fear that customers will change the settings set by a field tech and then call customer support. Or the company can bill for service calls, so they work actively against users configuring their own equipment. In my opinion either of these are very anti-consumer attitudes, since people who have networking skills should not be forced to call customer support because of non-existent or non-accessible documentation.


On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 8:19 AM, Jack DeLand <jackdeland -at- comcast -dot- net<mailto:jackdeland -at- comcast -dot- net>> wrote:
And what sort of audience analysis has product management performed? Do you
think they are just making assumptions, going on past experience? Is it
possible that they know something that you don't? I've found that some of
the times that I've been most sure of myself, I've been wrong. I'm just
sayin'.

Jack DeLand

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Social or Corporate Docs? [was Re: Developments in the review cycle]: From: Chris Despopoulos
Online help for GUI/web-based config app of HW telecom products: From: Erika Yanovich
RE: Online help for GUI/web-based config app of HW telecom products: From: Jack DeLand
Re: Online help for GUI/web-based config app of HW telecom products: From: Daniel Friedman

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