WinHELP Philosophy

Subject: WinHELP Philosophy
From: David_Dubin -at- NOTES -dot- PW -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 09:54:37 EST

We are in the middle of developing Help for an in-house application and I have
a question of those of you who have gone this route before. Simply, what do you
feel that Help is, and what should one include in Help files?

I have been taught (and believe) that Windows Help should not take the place of
a user's manual and should not become simply an electronic version of the
user's manual. Help is (or should be) that information a user needs immediately
to solve a problem. Help is driven by topics (info chunks) and, since the
WinHelp environment is interactive, the user can navigate to the depth of
knowledge that is necessary to complete that task. Help is not a lineal
environment, as a user's manual is, even an electronic user's manual.

Our philosophy is that most users who are stumped in an app will go directly to
the Search button and look for information about the concept that they need,
before they go to a Contents section or even a How To... section.

Any thoughts on this? All responses welcome, either direct or through the list.
Thanks in advance for your time.

David Dubin -at- notes -dot- pw -dot- com

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