Re: doc to help theory

Subject: Re: doc to help theory
From: "Jean A. Pratt" <JPRATT -at- ID2 -dot- USU -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 08:08:39 MST7MDT

Angela asked about the theory behind creating documents, converting
them to help, and maintaining them both.

Angela, I use Doc-to-Help and quickly set aside any notion of
creating one document to serve two purposes. It's not worth the
hassle. Our software is in a constant state of modification and
revision resulting in, you guessed it .... a constantly changing help
system.

The help system is written for more experienced Windows or software
users with a multitude of pop-up windows and hot text links for more
detailed information or procedures for novice users. As users become
more experienced with the system then they release their reliance on
the extended support and use Help more as a job aid for procedural
recall than an instructional tool to learn the new software. I have
all the the more detailed pop-ups and jump links in one spot at the
end of the document instead of buried as hidden text throughout the
help system. Therefore, when I update help, I update the extended
information once rather than everytime the user has access to it in
help (which is what would be required if I were attempting to
maintain a hardcopy of this product).

Good luck with your develoment process. This is a fantastically
exciting and changing field in which we are working.

Jean
----------------------------------
Jean A. Pratt
Project Manager
ID2 Research Group
Dept. of Instructional Technology
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-2830
JPRATT -at- ID2 -dot- USU -dot- EDU
http://www.coe.usu.edu/it/id2/
PH: 801-797-2630
FAX: 801-797-3851

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