TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I will look into creating CSH on the field level.
This was not an option I had considered.
Regarding drop-down text, I will definitely check whether or not search
skips it when I get back to the office.
The reason I use it is to prevent the following scenario:
Step 1 - Go to random page
Step 2 - Open random system module
Step 3 - Optional. Select this complicated option, which many but not all
of our users need selected.
3 paragraphs plus example explaining what it does and what will happen if
the option is selected.
Step 4 - Select mandatory options: A, B, and C.
Step 5 - Click Save and Exit.
I do not want to make a simple task more long and complicated than it
actually is and prevent information overload.
If the additional information is a paragraph or less, it will appear as a
note. If the additional information takes up more space, I make it
collapsible. And while in theory, I could make the additional information,
a separate concept topic, doing so would put it even further away from my
The advantage of what I am proposing, is users who only need the additional
information hidden in the drop-down will be able to access it more easily.
CSH on the field level will also support this so I'll look into it.
On Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 8:54 PM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> When it's useful to have a CSH link for a field, option, or other UI
> element, I use the same help call as for page-level help calls.
> Sometimes the target should be an anchor within a topic rather than
> the top of the topic.
> It can also be helpful to embed a CSH call to the relevant anchor in
> the tooltip.
> Implementing an in-between CSH call somewhere between a tooltip and
> the full online help system seems to me beyond the point of
> diminishing returns. If the information the customer wants isn't
> there, how many clicks does it take to get to the relevant topic in
> the full system?
> "One of the pain points for both customers and support is that
> frequently information they need is buried in a procedure topic
> sometimes as drop-down text."
> Lose the collapsed text.
> As a user, I've always found drop-down text in help topics a terrible
> idea. I can't skim to find the information I need, and in some cases
> the search missed hits in collapsed text. What's the user benefit that
> offsets that?
> On Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 12:45 AM, yehoshua paul <ysp10182 -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> > Okay, I just made up the term in the subject line. If it already exists
> > I'm using it correctly then yay for me. If not then keep reading and I'll
> > explain.
> > TL:DR I want to add pop-ups with help content to our system. My boss
> > to know what other companies do.
> > I am looking for various ways to improve our customer's experience when
> > comes to finding the information they need while using our system. We
> > a web-based SaaS software application for travel companies. I use
> > 2015 to create a responsive online help.
> > One of the pain points for both customers and support is that frequently
> > information they need is buried in a procedure topic sometimes as
> > text.
> > Example: We have a corporate client account page. The page has five
> > expanders in which you can enter various information and activate certain
> > options for the account. Our customer needs to know additional
> > on a specific option on that page. This information is often 2-4 clicks
> > away, sometimes hidden as drop-down text.
> > Why?
> > The user first needs to open the online help (first click)
> > The context sensitive topic contains a general overview of the page with
> > links to relevant procedures and a reference topic listing all the fields
> > and options on the page.
> > The user then does one of the following:
> > - (Hopefully) opens the link to the correct topic (second click),
> > scrolls, and finds information.
> > - Searches for the field (second click), in the search results, opens
> > the correct topic (third click), scrolls and finds the information).
> > - Opens the index (second click), finds the keyword for the field and
> > clicks on the correct entry to see a list of topics (third click),
> > the correct topic (hopefully), (fourth click), scrolls and finds the
> > information.
> > I would like to reduce this to one click.
> > I am on the product team. I can make changes to our system pending
> > from my boss.
> > I proposed the following change:
> > Next to specific fields and options in our system, we will add an icon.
> > When users click on the icon a pop-up will open listing all the relevant
> > information on that field. This will not be a tooltip. We already have
> > tooltips. Tooltips are short, and when you move the mouse, it disappears.
> > The pop-ups will be for fields and options that contain a paragraph or
> > of information, and users can close them when they are done reading.
> > Therefore, I have dubbed them "context sensitive pop-ups."
> > The change should be easy to implement, as this is basically UI work. The
> > main issue will be maintenance when information needs to be changed in
> > pop-up, but again since this is UI, it won't be a lot of work for
> > developers, and it doesn't happen that frequently.
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and
> content development | http://techwhirl.com
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as ysp10182 -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
>http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
> magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com